The difference between problems and complaints.

At the time of this writing (a few days after the U.S. presidential election), ideas are clashing, emotions are intensifying and fears about tomorrow are being treated as if they are inevitable, as if this will be the worst of times.

So many hurt and angry people, people not communicating. As usual, our country has problems. And we’re a country that tends to publicize them.

I’ve been struck by the old proverb that says problems are opportunities dressed in work clothes.

Complaints, then, are a way we dress up our problems to bring them out with us. That is most definitely allowed. But getting back into the work clothes is what will be needed to act upon what troubles us.

So, just as a little reminder, and because I’m ever the optimist, I decided to pull together the following permissions, which (happily) are are already (universally) granted to all our citizens, so long as they are non-violent and non-criminal:

  • Permission to express yourself
  • Permission to vehemently disagree with others
  • Permission to keep your politics out of your personal life
  • Permission to weave your politics into your personal life
  • Permission to abstain from involvement
  • Permission to gather with others of like mind
  • Permission to seek common ground with anyone
  • Permission to wish things were different
  • Permission to accept things as they are
  • Permission to ask questions and suggest answers
  • Permission to complain…sometimes it makes a difference 🙂
  • Permission to pursue change, in your life and in this world

In case anyone is wondering, I myself am exercising my permission to focus any bit of positive influence I can on my small corner of world. I feel compelled to keep a flexible mind, like the Zen master did with the story “Is that so?” 

Hoping that whenever you stumble across this writing, it finds you free to speak up and happy to work with hope.

For a little extra help calming down and freeing up, you can sign up to get a permission slip delivered to your inbox, free, for a year: Click here.