Satisfaction is the Death of Desire
Every single time I criticize a particular thing that I think is in need of improvement, there is always someone around trying to stifle my insufferable meliorism by telling me how I shouldn’t be so negative and how, actually, I should be happy, because “you know, things could be worse.”
Of course they mean that I should appreciate my situation in comparison to, say, and Ugandan child-prostitute. And believe me, I really do. I am fully aware of how privileged I am by being born to middle-class parents of a first world country, that my life so thoroughly lacks physical suffering that my definition of pain comes from cutting myself in the finger with a kitchen knife, that I’ve never known hunger, nor lost loved ones to anything but natural causes. I do appreciate that. But that is no argument for not improving upon any condition that inflicts unnecessary and avoidable suffering, however little.
Actually, it’s not even an argument to accept unnecessary inconvenience.
I consider to respond one day by punching that person in the face and then saying “Don’t complain. I could have punched you twice. Really, you should be happy I only hurt you once, and I didn’t even break your nose. Actually, be grateful I didn’t rape you. You know – things could be so much worse.”
Bottom line: Whatever can be improved without causing any detriment to anyone, ought to be improved. If things could be better, however slightly, the default position should be working towards that goal unless there are good reasons not to do so. Always seek change for the better, and never stop. Stagnation is not something that is worth living for.