Commentary

The Complaint Department Is Closed

Posted by tbaker |

“So, for the next week I am going to keep track of every time I whine about something minor, like my phone charger cord not reaching far enough for me to roll over on my right side when I’m using my phone in bed.”

By Rachel Birdsell

The other day I found myself complaining, and possibly cussing, because the GPS on my phone stopped working. It didn’t matter that it was for less than a minute. At the moment, it totally sucked because I didn’t know which direction I was going and terrible things could have happened in those 25 seconds. Gangs of hoodlums could have jumped out from behind the speed limit signs and bludgeoned me because they could sense that I was the weaker prey since I wasn’t sure what direction I was headed. I could have been late to the thrift store I was attempting to find, and someone else could have bought that cute set of vintage bowls for 99 cents. Why, I wondered, was the Universe plotting against me? Then I realized I was being a completely dramatic twit about it, because not having a working GPS for half a minute isn’t anything to complain about.

But there are people in the world who have reasons to gripe: abuse victims, people with cancer, AIDs and other diseases that cause them pain and possibly death, children who go to bed hungry and those who don’t even have clean drinking water, homeless people, those who just lost their jobs and those who are hurting emotionally from divorces or deaths. The guy whose dog chewed off one of his testicles last week in Trumann, Ark., most certainly had something to gripe about. I wouldn’t fault any of these people should they complain about their situations.

While I’m generally pretty happy and try to be careful about what I complain about, I still find myself griping over the dumbest things. I know I’m not alone, either. I see people all around me complaining about trivial matters. I’ll bet you do the same, too, unless you’re perfect, and if so, the rest of us honestly don’t want to hear about it, and you’re delusional.

So, for the next week I am going to keep track of every time I whine about something minor, like my phone charger cord not reaching far enough for me to roll over on my right side when I’m using my phone in bed. Every time I grumble about something petty, I’m going to put a dollar in a jar along with a slip of paper that has something I am grateful for written on it. At the end of the week, I’m going to take all of the money in my jar and donate it to an organization that helps any of the people I previously mentioned who are truly suffering.

If you decide to join my week of consequential complaining, drop me a note at rabirdsell@gmail.com.

Maybe this idea will take off and we can have a yearly complaint-free week. If not, at least there will be a few of us who will be helping people who need it, as well as taking notice that we really don’t have much to gripe about and a whole lot to be thankful for.

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