Definitely one of my favorite expressions in Japanese, it perfectly encompasses the uselessness of trying to change/help a situation/person.
Since I am mostly aquainted with people who have a strong interest in broadening their experiences, learning new things or taking on new challenges, I am not sure what to make of those few who drift along and complain without trying to fix their situation.
Conversation this Sunday:
X-chan: 'Omg I am so bored... what am I supposed to do? Is it like this for all people who work?'
Me: 'You could take some kind of fun class? Yoga is great and not too expensive'
X-chan: 'But that costs money'
Me: 'Go for a run or a walk?'
X-chan: 'But it is sunny out, I might get burned'
Me: 'Well, if you want to make more money and are bored, why not get an extra job one day per weekend?'
Okay, I get it, you don't actually want a solution, how unfeminine of me to not get that...
And every time I am preparing to go off on a trip all I hear is 'iinaaa, I want to go somewhere toooo'.
Then go! But no, it always goes back to 'my boyfriend doesn't wanna' (as if it is impossible to travel with friends or *gasp* by yourself) or 'you make more money than me' (false, actually you make more, I just manage it better).
If you want to have fun, you need to be proactive about it. Admittedly I may have taken it a bit far, with running AND koto AND yoga AND freelancing AND traveling, along with the usual nomikai and other stuff that pops up. I would love to take drawing classes, and am thinking of taking a course in real estate too. This kind of lifestyle may be busy but hell, you meet a lot of people and have a lot of fun!
I have also recently been dealing with several clients who have little to no life outside of work. Some say they play a sport or do an activity once a month. Others say that playing with their kids is their hobby (no, sorry, that is called 'good parenting'). Seriously? You only get to live once (unless you believe in reincarnation), and you are okay with spending that life at work?!
Such as waste... perhaps in their previous lives they were ants or other such industrious critters?