That was how an old friend of mine – thanks Oache – was treating anyone who complained too much.
And there were plenty reasons to complain about during Ceausescu’s communist rule over Romania.

Five minutes ago I found this in my inbox:

A  young couple moves into a new  neighborhood.
The next morning while they are  eating breakfast,
The young woman sees her  neighbor hanging the wash  outside.
“That  laundry is not very clean,” she said.
“She  doesn’t know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps  she needs better laundry  soap.”
Her  husband looked on, but remained  silent.

Every time her neighbor would  hang her wash to dry,
The young woman would  make the same comments.

About one month  later, the woman was surprised to see a
Nice  clean wash on the line and said to her  husband:
“Look, she has learned how to  wash correctly.
I wonder who taught her  this.”
The husband said, “I got up early  this morning and
Cleaned our  windows.”

And so it is with life.   What we see when watching others
Depends on  the purity of the window through which we  look.
 

I’d go even further than that.
The way we perceive what’s going on around us depends heavily on the ‘filter’ each of us chooses to use when trying to make some sense of this world.
Catalin Zamfir, a Romanian sociologist with a keen interest in the decision making process, has studied how individuals try to assuage the feeling of acute/constant uncertainty experienced by each of them during the constant (social) encounters that constitute ‘daily life’. In one of his early books, unfortunately not yet translated in English, he explains that ‘ideology’ is not only a blue print for future action but also, and maybe even more important, the lens/filter through which we perceive what is going on around us. An interface that translates ‘reality’ into ideas that make sense for each of us.
The interesting thing about ‘ideology’ is that it isn’t fixed. Each of us can choose from whatever is available in his time or even ‘write’ his own.
Granted, the process of selection/rewriting incurs costs/risks. Some obvious, like adopting a contrarian stance, and others very well hidden in plain view, like the dangers that arise from indiscriminately following a herd.
And this is exactly why we should strive to keep our windows/ideological eyes as clean as possible.