The challenge of maintaining a resourceful and positive mindset can be challenging at times.

Whether it’s an incidental annoyance like peak-hour traffic or breaking a fingernail or if life is generally getting you down and you have a few problems piling up, it’s easy for us to fall into the habit of complaining about our circumstances.

We now have complaints departments in most large organisations and you only have to read the letters to the editor in your local newspaper or read a few on-line rants to realise that we now have a well-established culture of complaining in our midst.

I always like to put things in perspective, so before you launch into another list of complaints that you may have, consider the following and then ask yourself, “What am I complaining about?”

  • Approximately 20% of children in Africa will die before the age of five.  Around the world, 22,000 children die every day due to poverty.
  • Approximately 1 billion people do not have immediate access to clean drinking water and have to walk over three hours per day to get some.
  • Over 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 per day and over 80% of the world’s population on less than $10 per day.
  • Approximately 1.6 billion people live without electricity.
  • Approximately 790 million people in the world are chronically undernourished.
  • Almost 1 in 2 children across the world live in poverty.
  • A woman in Papua New Guinea is more likely die giving birth than a woman in Australia by a ratio of over 100:1.
  • The current number of displaced people and refugees is 67 million.  At the current rate of acceptance by other countries, it will take well over 100 years for all of these people to find a home.  That’s assuming that there are no new refugees created in that time.

As I write these numbers, I am saddened and compelled to do more.  These aren’t just numbers, they are people, just like us, who were unlucky to be born in circumstances that place them in a terrible disadvantage.

I don’t know how you feel, but the next time something happens to you that doesn’t meet your expectations, the next time someone lets you down, the next time you feel disappointed, ask yourself this question…

What am I complaining about?

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