No complaining, please…
I began reading a book on January 1st titled The No Complaining Rule, by Joe Gordon. It’s a small book, 131 pages long, with 31 chapters, each about 3-5 pages in length. I’m reading 2 chapters a day, the one I read yesterday, and the one for today (today’s chapter being today’s date.) Since I’m only on day 5/chapter 5, I’ve barely scratched about 16 pages. What I’m hoping this book will do is give me a continued encouragement about keeping a positive mindset.
Morale is low at my current workplace. Without going into details, it’s not uncommon for brief, little huddle sessions that includes much rolling of the eyes and airing of grievances to be a common occurrence, and I hate to admit that I’ve participated in my fair share of them. It gives a quick boost to the ego to rattle off our rants about what’s wrong with who or what’s not working today. (Wow! How’s that for alliteration!)
And I’m trying to put a stop to my participation in it. But it’s hard. Sometimes we feel that injustice have been done, not on a large social scale, but just the slights and wrongs and oversights enacted by a few of the “powers that be”. So it’s natural to want to vent. But the problem is….that stuff is contagious! If I complain, then you want to complain, maybe even one up me (or vice versa.) Sometimes I’ve noticed that my and other folk’s grievances are indeed over-reactions. Emotions are worn on sleeves. We can’t take it, but we sure can dish it out. Sometimes we are as much to blame as the offending party.
Sometimes we “complainers” need to stop and contemplate human nature for a while. Not just our nature to complain, but the nature of others to goof up, mess up, or otherwise be just plain ol’ nasty. I’ve noticed that a lot of the lower level “powers that be” aren’t given much to work with, and are only doing what they can with what they got. Just as the “schtuff” flows down hill, we can see the slime trail from where it came before. I’m sure that that upper level “powers that be” aren’t given much to work with, either.
We are prone to miss the mark, and we are prone to cry out against our grievances. There is a remedy that I know of. Take the time and be grateful for what you do have. You do have something. Even if it’s just a breath. A bed to sleep in. A shirt on your back. Be mindful that there are those in the world without even that, and I hope with that realization some compassion towards others is nurtured. But taking some measured, quality time to stop and be grateful really does change one’s immediate attitude. It’s a great end of the day practice, as well as a practice one can do when one feels slighted or tempted to vent.
If our grievances are indeed justified, then there are proper ways to see that they are addressed. And it might be very well that some of them are never resolved properly. That can bring us to other decisions and choices. But we need to major on the majors, and minor on the minors. And for some of the minors, giving a benefit of the doubt and acting with forbearance saves a lot of emotional energy and smooths out the rough edges that low morale has brought to the surface.
I know I’m not going to be perfect in this endeavor. But I’m going to give it my best shot. Negativity takes a toll on our psyches and physical health. I’m learning that at my age, my mental, emotional, and spiritual health is just too precious to squander on minor breakouts of complaint.
Now, excuse me as I go scream into my pillow…