I have came to realize that The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is lacking a fundamental and important article, and I shall add it in on behalf of the whining masses that have been long deprived of their rights, the
Right to complain
The Right to Complain is often glanced over and given very little importance. We have to understand that every being should be entitled a right to complain, even though the being is suggested to be sensitive when carrying out his or her complaints.
Just in case you are wondering what provoked me to write such a long blog post fighting for the right to complain, I will now recount to you my painful story in detail. Ask and thou shalt be answered.
Anyway, I realized that each time I complain to people how screwed my results are, or how badly I did for an exam, or simply just how I am not doing well enough, the other party will be like,
"Aiyah, you don't complain. I am doing way worse than you, so don't complain."
First and foremost, I am entitled a right to complain as and when I like to. I can complain to the walls at home, I can do it to the microbes in the air, and I can do it to the mirror, and yes, I can do it to you. Of course, if I am entitled the right to complain, then the other person is entitled to the right to not listen and to tell me to shut up, which then goes to the fact that I am entitled to my right of choice of not obeying, and this round-about thing would go on forever.
No, I won't structure my argument as such.
Instead, let us just get one thing clear, just because you are in a worse situation than I am in does not make my situation any better.
I mean, hello? Since when is this argument even valid? There is no same basis of comparison (i.e. not even happening to the same person), so how can the supposed fact that you are in a worse situation than me make my situation seem better in contrast? I mean, unless of course, I have either been through your situation and can therefore empathize with how bad your situation really is, maybe then I could feel that in comparison, my bad situation could seem marginally better than yours.
For instance, there is a really really poor man that can afford only one meal a day, and there is another really really really poor man that can afford perhaps just half a meal a day. Does that mean that make the first man richer in comparison? No! They are just in varying degrees of poverty.
Not only so, even if you are in a worse of situation than I am in, it does not mean that I would have to give up my right to complain just because I am that bit better. There is no such thing that only the person in the worst situation is allowed to complain, while anyone who is slightly better in comparison should all keep quiet. That's not the way things work. Everyone complains, from people who get A in their exams complaining that they didn't get their full marks, to people who fail their exams complaining their failure to get a pass. Everyone can complain.
That given, it does not mean that we should not be sensitive while complaining. You have to look at the target audience before you start complaining. If you are someone getting a lot of A and you expect someone who are getting a lot of S/U to sympathize with you, you probably have to wait till the person manage to get all her As first. Not only so, it would be extremely insensitive to complain about not getting full marks (for an A-grader) before someone who is failing their exams, you will probably just demoralize the person further. That is however, not to say that you cannot or must not complain before the person, because as established earlier on, everyone has the rights to complain and the rights does not end before someone who is in a worse of situation. You can try to do that, it will really just make you an unpopular fellow among your classmates/friends. This brings us to my original point of exercising some sensitivity while complaining.
I recall the other day whereby we got back our chemistry test and I screwed up mine really badly (yes it is really bad) and my classmates were trying to complain to me about their supposedly bad scores. With my aforementioned article in my head, I acknowledged their right to complain, but I also pointed out to them that I was really depressed myself at the moment and therefore had no spare energy to comfort them since I was in a worse off situation than them, perhaps then they should be more sensitive and change their target audience of their complaint. It surprised me that they offered no words of comfort as I would have if I would to be in their positions, but it bothered me little since I have already mentioned that myself being in a worse situation has not really much impact on them unless they have been in the same situation before. Hence they turned themselves to each other, both faring a step better than I did, and started a tirade on the stress and burden and how a small but powerful test had already demoralized them thoroughly.
Anyways, I am too lazy to type further because my brain feel like jelly now and I am too tired, so I shall just summarize my points for you all:
- We are all entitled the right to complain
- The right does not end where the other person has done worse than you; but
- One should always be sensitive and thoughtful when complaining
- The listener has the right to not listen, but the complainer has the right to continue BUT
- the continuation would make both parties fall out