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     Volume 4 Issue 45 | May 6, 2005 |

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What's your Problem


For every good deed done, there is always someone on the sidelines claiming that he can do a better job. There are so many different examples to prove this theory, from so many different angles, that I wouldn't know where to begin. It is a Bangali trait, after all, to criticise whatever you haven't done yourself, whether it is good or bad. And when you do something on your own, you cannot help but beat your own drum and claim how wonderful a job you have done, because pride or jealousy -- whichever of the two evils it may be -- will not allow you to admit that someone else may be doing something good, or better than you would have done.

I wonder what it is about us that disallows us to be happy for others, or even be able to pat someone on the back and admit that they have done a good job.

Take dinner parties for example. People will go to someone's house, eat their food, impose on their time and their hospitality, and then badmouth them, just because they can. How many times have you heard someone claiming right after they walked out of someone's house that the food was terrible, or that the room temperature was not to their liking? Is it necessary to say all of that rather than think how nice the person was for inviting you into their home and feeding you?

How about when there is someone who has won a prize or gets praise for outstanding academic results or anything of the likes? There is always some jerk in the crowd who insists on making a derisive comment, or putting the person down. Why? Because we can't accept that there is room for all of us in the world to do good, and that one person being complimented does not necessarily mean that another person is being insulted.

Look at the way we talk about our government. No matter which party is in power, everyone is always complaining about something or another. And although there is definitely room for improvement, how can each party be so wrong? Is our government just full of completely incompetent people or do we actually not know how to look on the bright side rather than always being negative? The government has such a bad reputation that even people who are really trying to make a difference and doing good are being stigmatised as corrupt.

People criticise newspapers and journalists -- does the term yellow journalism come to mind? But do they ever wonder how much a reporter has to go through? They work around the clock and sometimes, come across situations where they know that if they write the wrong thing about the wrong person, they might be victimised. No one is saying that the media is not guilty of disseminating wrong information from time to time. But at the same time, is it always possible to be a hundred percent correct all the time? No, but it is easier to be angry at the people who are actually doing the job, because they should be doing it right.

There is bad and good in everything and everyone -- even though it is easier for us to just believe that it is one or the other. For us everything has to be black and white and we can form our likes, dislikes and tastes accordingly. Most of the time something makes us always want to believe the worst about people -- which is why we gossip and back-stab so much that it has become a Bangladeshi national sport. At the end of the day, however, one has to wonder that if we were so confident and content within ourselves, why would we feel the need to degrade others? It is a sad reality that we spend our entire existences putting others down in order to pull ourselves up in our own eyes.

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