Sunday, September 13, 2009

Room for Complaint – No Way!

This is a humbling reality for anyone. We all complain and bitterly at times. I write this in the mood of complaint yet I know it’s good therapy for me to get a grip on reality whenever I feel like this. There are so many worse off but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Complaint is an insidious pit of self-inflicted despair which is always resident in the sins of pride, greed, anger, envy etc. This is no simple ‘religious’ problem—it defeats our happiness, point blank. It works every time whether we believe in God or not.

Take, for instance, the times we’d want to register complaint with our partner or kids for their “laziness” (i.e. laziness in our eyes) or their lack of consideration for us. For starters, why would we voluntarily choose to attract the negative vibe between us and them? And why would we want to attract a filthy disposition over ourselves and place ourselves on a bus bound for that pit of despair?

At a point of logic we say this is pathetic and a very poor use of time and energy. Our adult minds don’t take us there. Being adult is being responsible, reasonable, rational, realistic, reliable and logical. Yet, in a weak instant we find ourselves tempted back into the child state. It’s a sort of Pygmalion Effect. The Jane Elliott Blue Eyes Brown Eyes exercise[1] illustrated this saliently. When we’re given enough stimulus to complain we’re closer than ever to actually falling for it. Experienced injustice will bring us there every time. We must, therefore, come to expect that it will always exist—the propensity to complain.

Complaint is always a trick. We can always get our point across without complaining. All it takes is the ability to note the thing that bothers us, assimilate it appropriately, and to communicate it respectfully and assertively, and once only, to the person affecting us. We can then go on having done this without being the slightest bit upset and without potentially upsetting anyone else.

Have we got room to complain? Any sane person would bellow a resounding “no!” But we don’t always behave in sane ways do we? But the point is we can. We can easily train ourselves to not need to complain. Out of this place we get a sighter on real empowerment—a place where potentially no one might upset us. Imagine that!

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

[1] For more information see:

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