I’ll start by saying I’m thankful for #Hive — the many opportunities on this platform & also the community.
Amazing to see how well our coin is doing, lately!
Emotions are contagious and it is also an act of grace, gratitude and generosity to share with others what uplifts us.
We all know the type and have been them, at times: the chronically dissatisfied. Short-changed by life at every turn, or so they believe, they adopt a scorched-earth mentality. Each time they unbutton their lips, it’s to tear down, belittle, bemoan: the weather, the news, their colleagues, the world. At the very least, to satisfy their disgruntled hearts, they will emit a long and windy sigh.
We learn, over time, to avoid such persons or minimize our interactions — and not ask them how they are doing or about their work, or their weekends, for fear of the deluge. Sometimes, they might overhear themselves and, in turn, they will complain about how difficult it is being them.
There is no age limit to this misbehavior, of course, and growing older does not mean growing up. But maturity and, certainly, evolving does mean complaining less — since, we cannot complain and truly learn, at the same time. Muslim mystic poet Rumi says this best in a handful of words:
If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
I’ve also been musing on these words by Rumi:
Your depression is connected to your insolence and your refusal to praise.
Of course, there are objective difficulties in life, but much of our dark imaginings are connected to our refusal to praise.
To recognize that all is not within our hands, and act on what is, this is wisdom in practice. Generally speaking, I’ve found that patience, acceptance and gratitude are effective antidotes to complaining. Asking how can I best use these testing circumstances is a better approach than knee-jerk resistance and negativity.
Because we also live — virtually — on social media platforms where other suffering souls visit our feed/communal well in search of something to refresh them, it’s worthwhile to try to balance our tendency to vent with some uplift. Otherwise, without recognizing it, we might find one day that we have become like those persons we avoid: the incorrigible complainers.
Which is why on this occasion to celebrate Gratitude, I should like to share excerpts of these praise poems that inspire:
...the world unravels always,
and it must be rewoven time and time again.
You must keep collecting threads—threads of meaning,
threads of hope, threads of purpose, energy and will—
along with all the knowledge, skill that every weaver needs.
You must keep on weaving—stopping sometimes only
to repair your broken loom—weave a cloak of warmth
and light against the dark and cold, a cloak in which
to wrap whoever comes to you in need—the world
with all its suffering, those near at hand, yourself.
—Parker J. Palmer
Oh speak, poet, what do you do?
But the monstrosities and the murderous days,
how do you endure them, how do you take them?
—Rainer Maria Rilke
God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.