Sunday, March 6, 2011

The luxury of complaining about nothing.

I can't complain, but sometimes I still do. ~Joe Walsh

All of us complain about things. Sometimes daily, sometimes several times a day. We complain about the weather, the traffic, our jobs, our kids, our lawns, our dogs. We complain about the price of things, the lousy meal we had last night or how bad our favorite team played. It never seems to end.

Sometimes it seems that we would not have much to say to each other if it weren't for complaining. And it seems to me that some people simply enjoy complaining and it has become one of their favorite pastimes.

What we don't seem to realize is how lucky we are to have the luxury to complain about such trivia.

I see so many people who have a lot to complain about. They are watching a loved one die. They are in pain. The services we lined up didn't go right for some reason. The hospital made a mistake. But the funny thing is, I seldom hear them complain. About anything.

It seems like when we really see how bad things can be, we realize we have nothing to complain about. All those things we thought were so important just simply vanish.

A patient summed it up this way as she looked out her window on a recent snowy, cloud filled day:

"Why did I used to complain about the weather all of the time? Now I am happy just to see another day. I could care less what the weather has in store. I am just glad to be here. But I feel like I wasted so much time complaining about it. Too cold, too hot, too windy, too much snow. Like the world was doing this just to make my life miserable. What I failed to realize was that I was making my own world miserable. I wish I could have those days back. I would never complain again."

There is wisdom in what she said. How many of us make our own life miserable by looking for things to complain about? Perhaps time would be better spent looking for things to rejoice about.

Anyway, pay attention to what you are saying. See if you can catch yourself complaining about nothing. And then, rejoice in the fact that you can.

“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”

I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.
~~~Lily Tomlin

Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.

1 comment:

  1. Janice,

    I always love your insights. I was definitely someone who complained about nothing more than I should have...until my husband got sick. Now that I have lived through his illness and death, I am so much more grateful about everything. He seemed to always be that way...uncomplaining, both before and during his illness. I wonder what we can do to raise children that are able to be grateful throughout their lives, without needing a tragedy to show them the folly in being annoyed and irritated by small things? I hope to do that for my kids.