November 11     

Today's quotation:

My days of whining and complaining about others have come to an end.  Nothing is easier than fault finding.  All it will do is discolor my personality so that none will want to associate with me.  That was my old life.  No more.

Og Mandino

Today's Meditation:

"Whining and complaining about others."  Sadly, I've done my share of that, mostly because that was the kind of thing that was modeled to me constantly when I was growing up.  I simply learned that that was somehow an effective way of going through life, even though the truth of the matter is that it isn't at all.  As Og says, though, "No more."  I'm not going to worry about what others are doing-- I'm going to focus on what I'm doing and try to do the best I possibly can in all situations so that I can benefit others as much as possible.

It's very easy to find fault in others, especially for those of us whose jobs demand that we do so.  When I teach writing, for example, one of my major tasks is to point out flaws in the writing so that the students can correct them.  I also point out strengths, but I do need to point out flaws-- it's just the nature of the job.  The danger is that it can become second nature, and that I can start pointing out flaws even when I'm not teaching, in the belief that in doing so, I can help others to fix their flaws and somehow lead happier lives when they do so.

But I don't want to be always looking for things that are going wrong.  I don't want to be focused on complaining about others and trying to "fix" them.  If I can drop my preconceived notions of what others should be doing or how they should be acting, then I can focus on the way things are rather than the way things should be.  And when I do that, I can accept things for what they are and not get into the complaining mode.  I can just let things be as they are and enjoy them-- or deal with them-- for what they are.  And that's a very liberating way to go through life because it frees me up to focus on the positive rather than looking for things to complain about.

Complaining is my choice, and I choose not to do it.  I can still point out problems-- as long as I'm being objective, that isn't necessarily complaining-- but I don't want to be the person who constantly finds fault and tries to make others sympathize with me through my complaining.  I want to be the person who looks at the positive and tries to accentuate it, rather than the person who finds something to complain about in everything.  Yes, it's important to point out problems, but let's do so constructively rather than destructively.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so easy to complain about things?

What exactly does complaining accomplish?  Does it help us as much as we think it might while we're complaining?

What does it take to accept "what is" exactly for what it is?

For further thought:

Complaining about every detail of our lives seems so natural.  We always have a preconception about what "should be."  Then, of course, "what is" is never quite right.  But it is possible to change this pattern of thinking.  Contrary to what we may have believed up until now, the pattern is made by us.  It doesn't have to happen.

Karen Casey

more thoughts and ideas on complaining



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