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Many years ago, there were two neighbouring farmers, Fred and Luke, who lived on the edge of a beautiful old forest.

One morning they woke up to find that many of the trees in the forest had been chopped down.

Fred was outraged and immediately went to his neighbour to express his anger.

“Can you believe this has happened?  he yelled, “Who could have done this?”

“I have no idea,” responded Luke calmly.

“Well, I’m going to let everyone know about this travesty, are you coming with me?”  Fred asked.

“No thanks.” responded Luke.

“Aren’t you going to do something?” Fred asked.

“I will.” replied his neighbour.

Fred stormed off and went into the local village where he told everyone he met about what had happened.

“Can you believe it?”  he asked bewildered townsfolk.  “Dozens of trees, just cut down and taken away overnight.  It’s outrageous!”

Of course the villagers nodded their heads and showed the appropriate amount of sympathy to the farmer.

“But do you know what the worst thing about this is?” Fred said, “Luke won’t do anything about it.  If he was as angry as me, he would be here with me telling everyone as well.”

Fred got home and visited his neighbour again.

“Luke, I’m going to write a letter to the mayor to complain about the trees being chopped down.  Are you going to help me?”

“No thanks.” Luke replied.

“Aren’t you going to do something?” Fred demanded.

“I will.”

Fred stormed off to write his letter to the mayor.

The next morning, Fred went back to his neighbour’s house, but there was no answer at the door.  Fred looked around the property and eventually found Luke in the clearing where the trees had been felled.

“What are you doing?  There are still people who haven’t heard about the trees being cut down.”

“I’m planting new trees,” replied Luke.

“Why?” asked a confused Fred.

“Because complaining won’t bring them back.”

Sometimes, life doesn’t always go to plan.

Bad things happen to everyone, sometimes even genuine tragedies.

We’ve become very good as a society at complaining about the injustices that we see.  When our expectations aren’t met, we are quick to ring someone, update our Facebook status, write an email or perhaps even a blog.

But real change doesn’t happen via a complaints department, it happens through meaningful action.

It happens through Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus in the 1950’s.

It happens through Wangari Maathai planting millions of trees in Kenya.

It happens when we focus less on the problem and more on the solution.

It happens when we stop confusing habitual complaining with deeds.

It happens when we change the question we ask ourselves when things go wrong from, “Who can I tell?” to “What am I going to do about it?”

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