Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Confession Tuesday: The No Complaints, Be Thankful Rant Edition
It is still Tuesday and I have not forgotten to confess, it has just slid into later than earlier.
Since I have waited for afternoon, let's just get going.
To the confessional--
I confess I have been cranky with people complaining lately.
I always think about how what annoys me tells me something about myself. Mostly, in this case, how lucky I (we) have it. Right now, at this very moment, I feel thankful and maybe that's why complaints are bugging me because I'm looking at people who have a lot to feel grateful for --they have more than most.
If you are reading this, I am going to guess you are in the top 10% of the richest in the world-- or that yes, you are richer than 95% people in the world. If you're reading this from the US, you are most likely in the top 15% of the world. Yes, you. And me.
See where you fall yourself-- Go to the Global Rich List
I know it's winter, and maybe people need their Vitamin D, but I've just noticed a lot of people lately not being thankful for what the have.
Yes, it's easy to fall in this trap-- "My stupid sump pump is broken and needs replacing" (um, true story) can be replaced with "how thankful I am to *own* a home!"
"My heating bill is SO high!" can be replaced with "I am warm and indoors with a roof over my head."
"I hate my iPhone, it's so slow and my apps keep shutting off!" can be replaced with "I have an iPhone!" or "I can watch videos of kittens whenever I like!" or "I am carrying more information in my pocket than in largest library in the world and it only costs me $30 a month for the data!"
Stuff happens. Rejections happen. Life happens.
I confess I have bad days too. I throw a giant pity parties for myself and lay in bed and watch movies while I eat large amounts of Sno-Caps and Raisinettes. (Do you know how many people would LOVE to do this-- this is an awesome life), but don't post your gripes online...it makes you look a little petty and desperate for attention. And guess what, as bad as you have it, someone has it worse. Someone has just lost a loved one, or a friend, or a pet. So don't gripe about the little stuff.
I remember when I did a reading to raise money for the Tsunami Relief Fund. My entire blog post was about how cold I was for eight hours. Oh, the high school gym was so cold and I was hungry because I forgot my sandwich. Um, can you see how foolish this made me look?
That tsunami killed over 230,000 people and people were homeless and without food for months and months and probably longer.
I was in a safe high school gymnasium reading poetry and complaining about how cold I was and I didn't have a sandwich. The irony of this moment has never been lost on me... I could only see myself, I could only see how I was a little uncomfortable, I was missing the big picture. I was missing any sort of gratitude for my life.
Yes, life can feel as if it sucks. Or the day sucks. Or _______(fill in the blank) sucks... FEEL is the key word. But it doesn't suck. Our attitudes suck.
We're alive and that counts. We can change how you feel, what we think, what we do. It can be hard to think good thoughts, focus our minds, but our minds are ours to keep and to think with, we choose what images and thoughts we have.
But I guess it's a choice, focus on the good or the bad. In the end, it's still the same day, but you chose to find what you liked about it or what you disliked. We each decide how we're going to see it. We each get to make the call.
But if you're going to bellyache about something you have that I know a ton of other people would want, then shhhhhhh..... you have no idea how lucky you are. None of us do.
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Written by Kelli Russell Agodon