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Never Explain, Never Complain

By Steve Wickham

For direction in life and purpose to meet all the wiles that inevitably come, the four-worded title above—one which is attributed to both Henry Ford II and Benjamin Disraeli—is quite a boon for wisdom that can only benefit us.

We necessarily picture ourselves as being assuredly confident and assertive from the outset. It's a vision. If it's not where we're at right now; it doesn't matter. It's where we're headed, if we desire assertiveness enough.

Never Explain
When we've made a decision, sided with a project, backed some venture or gotten on-board in some other way, we're required to need to explain the whys and wherefores to those enquiring. That's only sensible and practical.

Where the process derails, however, is when criticisms come. Criticisms here are termed uninvited slurs or non-constructive feedback - or feedback we can do without. It's not stubbornness that meets this 'feedback,' but wisdom.

If we feel we don't need to explain the motive, rationale or reasoning of our actions all will go better. The petty complaints will cease eventually of their own accord.

So, there is a vast difference between explaining the details of decisions so people have the information to understand it, and justifying the decision to sceptical or belligerent others (who'd be sceptical and quarrelsome anyway). We just don't go to the latter if we can help it.

Never Complain
Where we made a decision or accepted one, there is no recourse to complaint, only learning.

I've very often said that there are three "C's" with which we should be wise not to engage in. These are compromise (i.e. of standards), comparison (i.e. self with others) and complaint. Complaint in this way is salaciously vicarious - it's the sort that gets us nowhere but to the outcome of despair and it's problematic for others too.

The truth is, whatever we run with we must accept, if, that is, we're to be fair with others and certainly with God also. Life rewards the responsible and the diligent.

There are times when 'complaint' is necessary and even advised, but it is our manner of complaint that sets us apart. We learn to complain with integrity, and not in a whinge-worthy manner. Our complaints don't reveal within us weaknesses, but strengths. Our complaints are advocacy-based; they're not about protecting our personal rights as such. Our complaints are weighed and considered and they're certainly infrequent.

But generally, we do not complain. We, instead, get on with the living of life. We keep moving forward.

Copyright 2010 S. J. Wickham.
Steve Wickham is a Registered Safety Practitioner (BSc, FSIA, RSP[Australia]) and a qualified, unordained Christian minister (GradDipBib&Min). His blogs are at: and

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