Yes, I Can!  Why We Should Act, Not Gripe!

By Shlomo  Maital    

Germain Christophe & wife

   In our new book Cracking the Creativity Code (forthcoming, SAGE India, late Fall),  we offer 10 ‘exercises’ for stimulating the brain’s creative thinking.  The very first, perhaps the most important, is “Act – don’t just Gripe!”.     Once in a while, when there is a problem that angers or saddens us, we have to take action, and not just wring our hands and complain.  Find a creative solution to a problem, then…do it! Adapt Obama’s slogan (which he stole from an African-American woman, who used it to empower black women) and  transform it to  first person SINGULAR: Yes I can!   At least once in a while.       A post on Facebook drew my attention to this:     France’s parliament has passed a law allowing workers to give some of their days off to a colleague with a seriously ill child. The idea came from the case of a man whose colleagues donated 170 days while his son was battling cancer.    The man is Christophe Germain.  He works at the Badoit water plant, in France. When his son fell ill with cancer, his fellow workers ‘donated’ 170 work days to him, so he could be home with his dying son.     Now, the Member of the General Assembly for Christophe’s district has sponsored a law in Parliament, to enable any worker to donate work days for a fellow worker who needs compassion leave.  And the law passed!     Congratulations to the French General Assembly!  Congratulations to the Member of Parliament (from a right wing party, by the way!).   And congratulations to France, a nation that has a heart and is unafraid to let it guide its legislation.        Act, don’t just gripe.  A handful of good people did, in France, and have changed their country, and perhaps the world.   Yes, I can!    Try it.      The little boy died in 2011.   Christophe attended the Assembly debate on the proposed law.  The Socialists opposed it.  Shame on them.   If socialists oppose a law just because a right-wing party proposed it, they deserve our scorn.