HUMOR – Would you like to know who drives me bonkers? People who complain about everything. Them; and the people who complain about things that are not worthy of complaint. And the people who complain to customer service just to see how many freebies they can score. And people who complain because they do not have a single positive thought rolling around in their brains.
That said, I have recently come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people in this world: people who complain and people who do not realize that they complain.
This brings us to the Complaint-free World movement. This began as a kind of social experiment by the Rev. Will Bowen of Kansas City, Mo. in 2006. He asked his congregation to attempt to go 21 days without complaining. He gave them purple bracelets to wear, with instructions to switch the bracelet to the opposite wrist and start over with the 21-day challenge when they caught themselves complaining. Bowen claims that he broke three bracelets before he made it the full 21 days without complaint.
With this in mind, about a month ago my children and I decided to attempt this 21-day experiment. I made it exactly four minutes before a grievance escaped my lips.
I do not mean to brag, but it turns out that complaining comes rather naturally to me. Some people do Pilates, some people can play “Crazy Train” on the guitar, some people crochet little hats. Everyone de-stresses in their own way. I verbalize my problems. It is my “thing.”
I know that all of the men are thinking, “that is because you are a woman,” as they scratch their behinds and pick steak out of their teeth with a business card. True, many women tend to work through their problems by talking them out – as has recently been hilariously illustrated in the following video:
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Venting occasionally to relieve the stress of unavoidable everyday pressures is one thing, but constant caterwauling is another matter entirely.
I do not want this to be my “thing” because constant complaining does not solve anything. Kvetching or groaning or blubbering about all that is wrong in the world does not do anything to make the wrongs of the world go away. It only sets our sights on … what is wrong with the world.
Imagine a world where people made a conscious effort to stop whining, griping, or tearing each other down. Three quarters of the content of the Internet would disappear. The absence of these negative thoughts will make room for constructive ideas just like removing the Tupperware full of moldy pasta out of my fridge makes room for a new Tupperware full of non-moldy pasta. Similes are not my thing, obviously, but you know what I am getting at.
Maker of delicious breakfast meats, Jimmy Dean, once said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
Let us all make an effort to adjust our sails rather than shake our fists at the wind. While we are at it we should tie a rope to the back of this boat and waterski. Like I said, I am bad with metaphors.
Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.
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