What do Martin Luther King Jnr, Pauline Hanson, Waleed Aly and Mohammed Ali all have in common? It's a tough place to be in, that previous sentence, but together they sit at the top of their chosen game, for differing reasons. So how, despite being loathed by so many and often shrouded in controversy, did they get there? They are all whingers! There's an old saying, 'the squeakiest wheel gets oiled first', which gives me an unlikely line of blogging dialogue today. I'm going to be exploring why we all need whingers in our networks, workplaces and clubs. Oh, wonderful whingers!
Let me just start by saying I am not endorsing any of the aforementioned pupils but do want to investigate how people like this are not only getting ahead of the crowd, (in Hanson's case by getting elected in her original 'Labour safe' seat of Oxley with a huge 19% swing), with such dominance. Each offers a unique insight into the times of the people, societal needs and further justifies an affirmation for the theory, 'if you don't look, you will not find'. Sometimes, 'don't fix it if it doesn't need it', simply justifies peoples niavity - there's always a problem worth fixing - just ask a whinger!
Here are some great lessons as to why the whinger is not just important to us, it is a necessity to our development.
"If you don't look, you will not find" ~ Daniel Amen.
My first point is that often we seek an outsider's perception in life: the best car, the best fashion, the best house, the best haircut… We get the picture. To negate this point, I will use the analogy of the immaculate car in the museum showroom. For the visitors of this slick machine, it seems pristine and would potentially purr like a cat if started - this we'll probably never know. Oh, and to sit in the car; rooftop back, we can relax and let the wind comb our hair with its cool breeze, as we enter a utopian dream of pleasure and good riddance. The windows are oddly tinted though and the museum curator isn't allowed to explain why this beast, made for the road, is cooped up in this building. Perhaps if we open the hood, the engine is rusted, parts missing and its entire system wired incorrectly. Maybe hampering this engineering feat of beauty, once aching to hit the roads, is now it's too far gone it simply has to sit metaphorically idling without true direction or opportunity to shine to its full potential. The point is that cars are meant to be driven, their sole purpose is to take the ground that awaits in its path. Sometimes there will be speed bumps, sickening windy roads, and even dead ends but the vehicle is made to pull off maneuvers made for the glitzy screens. Referring to our own context now, sometimes too much emphasis on the creation of something that resembles strong business, worthwhile entities and desirable culture for us to dwell within ultimately becomes smoke and mirrors. Without whingers, our perfect world would be so far flawed its entire existence would be forged. So even the best places to call home, the best-looking peer, the most fulfilling position of employment and the most prodigious entities lack the authenticity required to progress. The United States fo America, the land of opportunity… We've all heard it before but where we, as neighbours and allies, in Australia saw it wrong was when we saw luminant lights and the advantaged showing off the perfect lifestyle, there were literally millions suffering. We couldn't see what our modern day historical legends of inequality, Dr Martin Luther King and Mohammed Ali saw. We were lured in by the shiny shell and the dreamy vision of driving the beast out on the open road, not knowing it was never going to leave that showroom without. These two African Americans looked where no one dared to venture before them. One, the rights of the people in peace, and the other voiced to stand up and preach what is right, rather than parade around in the pretentious glamour. Both saw the showroom but pursued the drive, they realised the car wouldn't even start and would seek a mechanic, publically. The people were waiting for the courageous, resilient and heroic people they were but first, the needed a voice to help whinge, like never before. They found that in two greats of human existence. And aren't we grateful for it? If we didn't look back then, we would never have known.
Why choose Pauline Hanson to emphasise my points? Surely this is a little risqué? Well, no. Not really. Pauline has shown she has heart and grit. She is inappropriate at times and even gobsmacking and racist with her exclusive line of ideology. What she does offer me though is a perfect segue into the necessity of whingers. She is Australia's queen of whingers! And some may even question, why she gets so many votes? The answer can be one of two things, really: she's an expert politician or she whinges about so much that some of it voices the opinions of the unheard. Think about it in your workplace. Yes, you! We all know that whinger. The one who speaks their mind in meetings when it's so much easier to shut your mouth and hope the boss speaks up then lets everyone go home where it is safe from confrontation! Or the one who seems never to agree with what is chosen. Well, like it or not, these people are so empowering, your workplace would not and could not operate without them. See, they open our eyes to something new, something different. They challenge our very own process of thought, our line of pedagogy and our own perception of what is right. If not for anything else, whingers strengthen our ideology, unity and tighten the loose ends of development so that the path to success or an environment conducive to success can actually occur. And more often than not, they actually voice the opinions of many, giving necessary feedback to leaders and other stakeholders. The reality is, whingers make our workplace tick. They act as the conversation starter, they loosen the clamp of worry and allow venting to take its place- something we all need- more so in open forum then the safety of closed doors. They help us appreciate what is great about our practice.
From time to time, we all get caught in the act of seeing things through rose coloured glasses; our kids, our workplace or club culture, even our own performance. Without a whinger, we wouldn't know this. They are quick to inform (as annoying as it is at the time) us of our overconfidence, self-reassurance and that there is still a lot of room for improvement. The reality is, we cannot please everyone, so the sooner we realise this and continue to challenge ourselves to see things from the other pair of glasses (insert colour here), the better our overall outcomes will be, in any walk of life. Waleed Aly sits on our screen for an hour and a half every night whining and he is, despite making you want to throttle him through the television, in the right. Our deficits as a society, need to be heard. He is somehow the voice of many and these people spoke in 2016, raising him to the highest status a TV personality can reach, the coveted Gold Logie. He's controversial and speaks his mind, often countering the 'old- Aussie' mindset, but it's refreshing, raw and worthwhile listening to. We tune in to hear his opinion more than any other show during that prime-time slot each night. Waleed Aly is a true leader and pioneer in the whinging culture. Let's be honest, he's promoting equality to minority groups, backs those whom their voice goes unheard and stands up for what he believes in. We need and have needed this man, and more people like him for an age now. So let's celebrate our whinging ways! Whinge-o-Matic!