Before we complain

Written by BG Howard

November 23, 2022

I recently experienced a truly eye-opening situation when an acquaintance rode with me to a neighborhood retailer. Interestingly enough, for the entire drive to the store, the gentleman (I’ll simply call Bob) complained incessantly about the fact he’d injured himself while working in his yard. The account detailed what amounted to a minor incident in which he’d sustained what I interpreted as a scratch on his right leg.

It seemed a bit of poetic justice when we finally arrived at the store and pulled into the parking lot. We were fortunate enough to find an empty space next to the last of those I refer to as “reserved parking” requiring the decal that one hangs from their rear view mirror. It’s something of a personal matter but I refuse to term or view anyone as handicapped; my preference is to recognize an individual’s physical/mental challenges as oppose to labeling them with some derogatory euphemism used for lack of a better term that serves more as an insult. Okay, perhaps I did get a little sidetracked and sort of lost my bearings but that topic has a tendency to evoke a certain lack of sophistication.

As I was saying, we parked the truck beside the “reserved parking” space only to have a small van pull in beside us while “Bob” persisted with ranting about the scratch on his leg. It proved the perfect instance for fate to play a role when the gentleman opened the driver’s door and used a remote control to open the side hatch which automatically lowered a grate containing a wheelchair. The stranger, a double amputee, maneuvered out the driver’s seat and climbed into his customized mode of transportation; a modified motorized cart.

I intentionally sat with the truck running while “Bob” was observed gazing at the person undergoing what was obviously a regular routine. With the stranger eventually making his way toward the entrance, I simply looked at my passenger and inquired, “You were saying what about the pain in your leg?” Of course, “Bob” had no comment and simply glared at me for what seemed an hour before barking about us needing to get finished so he could be back home in time to complete his chore.

For pretty much the remainder of the afternoon I considered just how much we, as people, actually gripe and complain about issues that truly don’t equate the mammoth-sized problems as they’re portrayed. Consider the number of occasions when people comment about being starved regarding their desire for food or the remark often made when a person claims “I’m dying of thirst.”

Realizing that the worlds and the known universe were spoken into existence by the Creator and, if we were made in the image of God, our words have power as well. Proverbs 18:20-21 (King James Version) states: (20) A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. (21) Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

From experience, I’ve learned there are often adverse consequences to consistently speaking negatively and having pessimistic thoughts. A number of challenging situations have been endured by me during recent years when I realized that a person’s verbiage is indicative of his or her mindset. If you only think negative thoughts all your words are negative and thus, facilitate unfavorable results. It’s just natural that people are inherently drawn to those who are perceived as having a positive spirit or nature about themselves.

Truthfully speaking, there is little about which people in this country have honest reason to complain. Many are in their respective positions or undergo hardships manifested by bad choices or ill-fated decisions made by themselves or others but, generally speaking, we live in what is billed as the wealthiest nation in the world. Opportunities, though sometimes made more challenging for some than others, are still considered readily available to anyone willing to work and accomplish their desired goals.

I’ve had the benefit of visiting what are considered third world countries and caught a glimpse of what true poverty looks like. There are many people in the United States who are complacent, down-right lazy, and enamored with the idea that the world somehow owes them something. The constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness; only the pursuit of it and, as difficult as it is for some to swallow, the work has to be done by the individual doing the seeking. Complaining does no good as those who are willing to listen can’t help and those who can help simply won’t listen. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.

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