- Thoughts for inspired living

December 26, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:49 am

I was reading a passage from Maya Angelou‘s, “Wouldn’t Take Nothin’ for My Journey Now” this morning. She was telling a grand story about her grandmother’s warning about complaining. The quote that caught my attention was:

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”

And then I remembered something I read about Uma Thurman, the actress. She said she has a T-shirt that says:

“Save your drama for your Mama.”

We all complain. It’s part of the human software package. I think it’s healthy to register a complaint to the appropriate person when necessary. When the complaint drags on and is coming around the bend again for a second or third rendition, it’s drama.

The complaint takes on the dramatic component when the facts get buried with emotion. Take a simple example of being served cold soup at a restaurant. You could easily ask the server to take it back to kitchen and ask them to warm it up, or you could put on a high school play. “I’d expect a restaurant of this stature wouldn’t serve cold soup. At these prices, they should pay more attention to what they’re doing. People don’t take their jobs seriously anymore. No wonder we were attacked on 9/11. Nobody cares.”

You can easily see how drama escalates a situation into something it is not. There is a natural avoidance of people who complain and whine all the time. It’s obvious to anyone willing to pay attention that most people who complain all the time need attention. At the base level, this person feels ignored. That’s one of the reasons they keep complaining. It may have never struck them that the attention being paid to them when they complain is manufactured by others. It’s not genuine. It serves for the moment, but it has no lasting effect – kind of like a high school pep rally.

The prescription for complaining is a dose of gratitude. Just take 2 minutes out of your day and focus on things to be thankful about. Just this little spiritual practice puts a different filter on the day. You will begin to notice a decrease in drama in your life by making this a regular routine.

The major benefit is that people will begin giving you their natural attention which is the commodity that all humans desire.

All the best,


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