Tuesday 12th March 2002 23-30 CET
I remember meeting a five year old child for the first time,
many years ago, amidst a sense that though I was much
older I was more childish. The child, I shall call him "Andrew",
did not live to be seven years old. He had Cystic Fibrosis
and every day was a struggle that put my own problems
into a thimble of self-obsession. The thing that I most
remember about angelic 'Andrew" was that I hardly
ever heard him complain about his scenario.
Indeed, now I come to think about it, the people that I
remember most during the last decades (apart from my
immediate family) almost always possessed this 'gift'
referred to by Paul when he wrote 'I have learned in
whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content'. There
is something incredibly distinguishing about people
who 'don't have the habit of complaining'.
Enter, stage right, another thought: Last year I was
amazed by the regularity with which a phrase was
addressed to just about anyone that listened by
young people. The phrase 'get a life'. I remember
I joked about this by writing:
"They said to me get a life,
so I got one.
But it was faulty
so I took it back.
I was told I could hand it in
but would have to wait for a new one
OR, I could make the best of what I had
and see if I could get it to work myself."
The pervasiveness of the 'consumer consciousness'
insinuates itself into every aspect of our lives.
Whenever something goes 'wrong' we feel an
automatic conditioned response scenario to be
that 'we must complain about it.'
Indeed, the greater majority of work carried out in
social, psychological and spiritual ministries seems
more to be the work of one in charge of a 'complaints
'My nose is wrong.'
"I've got freckles"
"My breasts are imperfect"
"No one understands me"
"My ------ hates me"
"Your doctrines are faulty"
"God don't love me cos I'm a sinner"
"It's God's fault"
The consumerist 'rights of purchase' do NOT apply
in matters spiritual. Life is a gift and lovingness
an issue of perception/awareness. Do we complain
at the food we cook ourself, for ourself?
The aspect that is perhaps the worst aspect is simply
that the constant repetition of a 'complaints habit'
gives rise to an addiction to complaints, for such is
our thinking brain structure. This is not to say that
to strive for perfection is a failing, rather that it is
difficult to climb such a ladder if one is always
looking down at the rungs where one's foot slipped!!
The latter does not exactly inspire one with trust
for further upward mobility... huh?
Where dissatisfaction results in progress at correcting
the offending imperfection, then this is surely to be
However, when discontent is simply a malaria-like
breeding ground for yet more discontent, the constant
re-playing of a dissatisfaction rap-disc, the repetitious
rehersal of complaining.....then this indicates a basic
spiritual abdication of 'self responsibility'.
Surely Freud clearly demonstrated the ease with which
we can 'indoctrinate self' into a pattern of irrationality and
fear, to the extent that we became obsessively
dominated by such patterns.
It is amazing in life how so often we can meet
people who, by our own standards, have
mountains of reasons to complain...and yet
they do not. Bet you can think of a few...mainly
people with appalling sickness or poverty.
"All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people
cannot be happy. We tend to think that being
unhappy leads people to complain, but it's truer to
say that complaining leads to people becoming unhappy".
Hmmm... now there's an interesting..and challenging...
So, full circle. I'm back to my old traditional song,
"Count your blessings
name them one by one
and it will surprise you
what the 'Lord' has done"
What the One God hasn't yet done, in his/her/it's
lovingness toward you, is perhaps a question
of 'self starting'. For free will implies that
nothing WILL be done unless you WILL
that it shall be done......huh?
In Psalm 22 of the Jewish and Christian
Holy Books...there is a formula. When
we are unhappy/dissatisfied/discontented
we serve ourselves best when we remember
all the reasons we have to trust in the
lovingness of the One God. The Psalm
ends with a statement of total acceptance
that the One God will be victorious and will
deliver us from whatever assails us.
The Psalm starts with words that many will
probably know already...even if the context
of their normal useage is not exactly the meaning
the most famous user has been interpreted as
saying...the Psalm starts:
"My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Hmmm...did Jesus really complain upon the cross,
in the hour of His torment...or was He (in the habit
of Rabbis of the day) drawing our attention to
all the words of this Psalm?
You judge it. Look at the Psalm and see...
was He complaining or was He demonstrating
gratitude and trust ?
In most of the world's Holy Books..no matter
what 'religious label' they wear....there are
common strands, rivers, of lovingness. It's just
that sometimes in the translation, or sometimes
just because we haven't fully understood the
'social setting' of the words....we often can
misunderstand the real meaning.
As Afsana showed (in the last blog) not everyone
who knows the right meaning tells others correctly.
In the matter of complaints versus blessings....
actions speak louder than words.....huh?
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