A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about why I complain so much. Most of the time I complain because there is someone or something in which I am dissatisfied. I think most people associate complaining with negativity, but I believe that there is a positive side to complaining. There are times when we can take complaining and make it helpful.

When the pandemic lockdowns began in Los Angeles the freeways were empty. I remember the eerie feeling of driving on a freeway with only a handful of drivers when there were normally hundreds of them. Not only were there few cars but people were driving fast. I remember thinking that at the end of the lockdown people will need to slow down. Humans are slow to change though, and now people drive faster and more erratic than ever.

I recently noticed a problem in my neighborhood at a two-way intersection. Over the last year I started to notice that the drivers with the stop sign have become distracted or ignore the fact that they need to wait to enter the intersection. On a few different occasions drivers have almost hit me at the intersection. I kept complaining to my wife about how frustrating this was becoming. We have lived in the area for many years, and this started occurring regularly. I was also concerned because there is a school up the street and many children crossing the intersection. I was fed up, so I decided to do something about it.

I e-mailed the city and suggested they should put a “2-Way” sign to help drivers understand others have the right of way. There were two separate intersections that I made this suggestion. I was not sure how they would respond, but to my surprise a city worker called me to discuss the problem. The worker agreed that the added signs would be helpful and said they would add a work order. Today as I was running in the neighborhood, I noticed they installed all four of the additional signs. I have never been so happy to see a stop sign! I hope this helps drivers think twice before jumping in the intersection, but my point is that a little helpful complaining can be useful. I just wish that the other 99% of my complaining was helpful to do something productive like this, instead of just expressing my dissatisfaction.  

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