THE BLOG

Stop Complaining About Snowflakes

02/07/2014 10:37 pm ET | Updated Apr 09, 2014

Let's talk about something important. In a famous lecture, Mark Twain remarked that we all complain about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. What Twain meant was that, we're all, at times, guilty of inaction. And that's totally fine. There's a time and place for that. But now's not the time. Now's not the place.

Now more than ever, we need things done. We need people, of all ages, doing things. We need to stop complaining and start executing. But here's the trick. Hipsters, listen up. We don't become writers by joining book clubs, wearing thick frame glasses, or ordering soy chai lattes at Starbucks. We become writers by writing. We all need to start doing more of what we say we do.

So get outside and DO SOMETHING. Fix something. Help somebody. To borrow David Wong's brilliant example, imagine that the person who you love most in the world has just been shot. The victim is bleeding to death on a quiet street. Suddenly, a stranger rushes over, ready to operate. "Step aside," the stranger declares with supreme confidence. "Thank god -- a doctor!" you exclaim. "Not exactly," the stranger replies, "But I'm a really nice guy."

The point being, in that particular situation, nobody gives two shits how nice you are. What's on the inside matters so long as it results in useful skills that can help resuscitate your dying friend. That is to say, we're confined to a world in which people need things, in which what you bring or don't bring to the table defines you.

So next time it snows, remember Mark Twain's observation. Our complaints will never salt high school staircases, shovel hospital sidewalks, or plow handicap parking spaces. I'm afraid only we can make our lives more manageable.