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To be hard to please

Jan 17,2019 - Last updated at Jan 17,2019

People in our society, like people elsewhere, have always been hard to please. Recently, however, due to the escalation and spread of the twin cultures of dissatisfaction and negativity, they have become a lot fussier and a lot harder to please.

To be sure, being hard to please and fussy have its justifications, as well as its ultimately positive function.

Regarding justifications, there is a lot to the complain about in our society, for understandable reasons.

Our society’s overall performance, due to the accumulation of emerging and inherited problems and the inability to come up with effective solutions on so many fronts, is far from satisfactory.

The gap between expectations, or “potential”, and reality out there has significantly widened.

We lag behind in so many measurable ways, and several key performance indicators are both disappointing and worrying.

In the age of the “information revolution”, people observe, compare and then draw their own conclusions.

Economically, politically, scientifically, technologically, educationally and in many other spheres, our society is either at a standstill or regressing, in the opinion of many.

Regarding the ultimate positive function, it has become clear that the more critical people are, and the more vocal they are about voicing their concerns, the more seriously they are taken.

No one hears a silent person, and no one notices a person dancing in the dark, as the sayings go.

Once upon a time, a lot of people in our society mumbled to themselves, or voiced concerns to relatives and friends.

With the spread of so many means of communication, and a resolution by the people to put apathy aside and get involved, they have started airing their concerns publically, and aggressively so.

The rules of the game have changed.

As a result of this significant shift in expression of opinion, pressure has been put on a lot of individuals in leadership positions and institutions to perform better, at least to respond to complaints and criticisms seriously, and to do their best to address them.

This is positive.

On the negative side, however, two worrying developments are noteworthy: cynicism and dismissiveness becoming second nature to many people, and the escalation and widening of the culture of suspicion, reduction and denial of success and achievement.

Not everything that goes on in our society is futile, irrelevant or inconsequential, as some would have us believe. Constructive efforts and success stories abound.

Being critical and cautious is one thing, but being dismissive and derogatory on the spot is quite another.

The way out is at least twofold.

First, those at the helm, in any sector or sphere, need to listen to concerns, perform significantly better in the missions and tasks entrusted to them and deliver real results.

Nothing changes negative vibes and triggers positive energy like efficient, successful performance.

Action speaks louder than words.

This we are in need of much of.

Secondly, while working hard to push for change to enable progress to happen, we must, simultaneously, work together on deconstructing the culture of cynicism, suspicion and derision, and nourishing and fostering that of vocal constructive criticism.

To be hard to please, critical or even fussy is good; to be too hard to please, too fussy and insensitive is not.

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