Complaint, By Julian Baggini

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Here is "a meta-complaint", a complaint about complaint, in which Julian Baggini argues that we're just not very good at it. We complain about things which cannot be changed, or things which shouldn't be changed. The first is a waste of emotional energy and arises from "an infantile unwillingness" to accept imperfection. The second, including such varieties as "Self-Serving Complaints" and "Misdirected Complaints", often makes things worse. What we should aim at is "Right Complaint", which has a noble history and achievements such as votes for women and the abolition of slavery to its credit.

Baggini's hope is for a complaining culture based on secular ethics, where our complaints are grounded in reason. How to achieve this is, of course, another matter; but the example of his own sweetly-reasoned complaint at least demonstrates its possibility.

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