30 Promises: Day 9

Day 9: I promise to complain less.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to find excuses to complain about things instead of just chilling out. Case in point — yesterday’s post. Yes, I know I should expect a sense of order from those delivering or offering services to my house, but why take up my own valuable time complaining about it? Especially when I know nothing will get done on it unless they decide to change the system.

That’s how it is with most things I complain about, in that complaining isn’t constructive. Talking things out and figuring out quality solutions to problems that I can actually change, well, that’s constructive. My dad always said that “God sorts out those kinds of things,” as if there’s this divine being who wants me to sit back passively and wait for things to happen around me. That’s how I always interpreted it. But maybe he meant that there’s no use fighting against things that aren’t ours to fight.

You know, God or not.

I used to work at a place where everyone complained all the time. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. It was one of the most miserable places ever because all complaining does is breeds a culture of being dissatisfied, even when things might be satisfactory if you took a second to examine it for what it really is. That’s the problem with complaining. It is addictive. Remember the saying that “Misery loves company”? That’s how complaining gets a wide audience and more participants in turn. One person complaining is a whiner, but nine out of ten people complaining is “company.”

And I know at times that I have become one of those people. When I was at my lowest I know my complaint meter was off the charts. When I worked at my aforementioned former job I know I complained more because I subscribed to the culture, even though I didn’t have very many reasons to complain. Because complaining isn’t just about whining. It’s about validating the whiners by nodding along, even without saying a word. That all adds up. I know at times I’ve become a violent nodder, even when I have had absolutely no reason to complain.

I can’t do that anymore.

So I vow to complain less. I would vow not to complain at all, but I know that’s not realistic. Life is full of wonderful things that we miss, though, when all we’re doing is complaining. I want to see and experience some of those wonderful things. We’ll see where they take me.

Sam

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