Don’t complain about problems that you’re capable of fixing.

We’ve all heard the saying…

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That’s generally good advice. If something isn’t broken, but we try to fix it anyway, we could well end up breaking it.

But what’s not so common is the opposite of that…

If it’s broke, fix it.

If somethings broken, most people have a tendency to just ignore it, and hops someone else will fix it.

This doesn’t just apply to your possessions but applies to society at large.

You will often hear people complain that’s there’s rubbish on the beach, broken glass on the sidewalk, too much poverty, and a thousand other things.

It’s good that they noticed these “broken” things.

But what do they do about it? Usually, nothing at all. It’s like everyone can see the problems, but they’re all waiting for someone else to fix them.

So why don’t we all take it upon ourselves to do something about it? If we all did that, we could truly make our world a better place.

If you see litter on the beach, pick it up and put it in the trash.

If you see broken glass on the sidewalk, pick it up. If you don’t, it could injure someone.

But how can I fix poverty I hear you ask. Well, that’s a tougher problem and needs government intervention. But there are still ways you can help. You can donate to a food bank. You can offer to help an unemployed person get a job. You can lobby your local politician to do something about it. Don’t leave it to someone else if you are capable of helping.

I spend half the year living in Thailand, and that’s what got me thinking about this. People there tend to help each other more than people in Western countries do.

An example of this is that a few years ago there was massive flooding in parts of Thailand. My wife’s house had 3–6 feet of water in it for over a month.

So, what did the people from her village do? Once the water subsided, they had what they called a Big Cleaning Day. They put a big banner across the entrance to the village with a date and time for the cleaning.

On the designated day, over half the village was out cleaning up. They swept the roads and cleaned the exterior of all the houses, including those of neighbors that were away.

No-one asked them to do it. They decided themselves. And that happened all over Thailand.

They also have groups of volunteers that clean up the beaches every week.

In other words, they don’t sit around and complain, but get on with the work of making their world a better place.

Of course, it should go without saying, that you can’t fix everything, because you may not have the skills to do so. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fix anything.

If what’s broken is within your domain of competence, then do your best to fix it.

Fix what you can, and encourage others to as well. Or if something is too difficult to fix on your own, get a group of friends together to help.

If it’s something that a local authority should be fixing, then report it to them. They may not know it’s broken.

What can you do today to fix something, and make the world a better place?