Quit Your Complaining!

“If you are not grateful for the things you have, what makes you think you will be grateful for the things you want.”  –Tony Agnesi

Every March, Diane and I are blessed to spend the month in sunny Naples, Florida. We love the nearby Vanderbilt Beach and walk the beach every morning for an hour and a half.  We are so grateful to share this time together. Every year, I comment on how I missed my life’s calling as a beach bum!

Naples is an upscale city and most of the people here are retired successful folks from other parts of the country and seasonal vacationers.  I love everything about the area except for one thing. In the 20 plus years we have been coming here I can’t believe is how unfriendly everyone is.

You would think that with the beautiful sunshine and near perfect sunny days everyone would be in a grateful, cheerful mood.  But, that doesn’t seem to be the case. People here are always complaining about something. Somewhere along the way being grateful for your blessings has disappeared.

“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.–Colossians 3:17

And, what do they complain about? Here is sample of what I overheard in just one day.

A wealthy woman complained that her smart phone battery wasn’t lasting as long as it should. She blamed the sales clerk at the phone store.

A man complained that he had his drink flag up at the Ritz Carlton for over five minutes before the waiter arrived.  He wanted his drink for free.

A woman at the coffee shop complained that the foam heart on her cappuccino was misshaped and wanted it replaced.

A young girl arrived at Dunkin’ Donuts in her daddy’s Tesla and ordered a jelly doughnut with the jelly on the side and was disturbed that they couldn’t fulfill her request. She reluctantly took the regular jelly doughnut (with the jelly inside) and paid for it with Apple Pay on her iPhone 7.

An elderly woman complained that there would be a 30 minute wait to be seated in a popular restaurant.  Her husband offered, “What else do you have to wait for besides death!”  I liked him.

As I walked the beach, I smile and say good morning to everyone I passed.  Of the many people I recently greeted one morning only one responded with a good morning reply.  Most ignored me, turned their heads away or even worse, looked at me in disgust.

My point is that, even in arguably the sunniest, prettiest city on the gulf coast, people can’t even say good morning. And for some reason they are ALWAYS finding something to complain about.

Gratitude and humility just doesn’t seem to exist!

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” –2 Corinthians 9:15

I was almost ready to give up on humanity when I had an encounter with a migrant worker.

His skin was dark and stained from too much sun exposure. His hands were chapped and cut. His clothes dirty from the fields.

As we made eye contact, I smiled and said “Hello.”

“Hello,” He quickly responded.

“How are you?” was my automatic response.

He paused for a moment, raised his hands toward heaven, tipped back his head and rolled his eyes skyward, and didn’t say a thing; not a single word. Without speaking he spoke volumes!

Without saying a word I heard;

Thank you God for my life.

Thank you God for being able to support my family.

Thank you for all the blessings you have given me.

Without speaking, he restored my faith in humanity. This man understands that all that we have is a gift from God and gratitude and humility lead to happiness.

Quite a contract, right? So I ask you, who is happier?

On one of our beach walks, Diane and I agreed that for the entire vacation we were not going to complain about anything. Every time one of us complained (OK mostly me) she would stop me and I would have to say something that I was grateful for.  After a while it became second nature.

I can honestly say that when you are conscious of your complaining and make an effort to stop and instead find something to be thankful for, it works!  Why not give it a try.

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