No Complaints Tuesday – The Movement(ish)
I have really taken a liking to the whole social media thing. Keeping in touch with friends and family around the world, following news and world events easier, stumbling upon people who are way funnier than I ever could be. It’s fun. But it has a dark side. And not a cool, brooding, artistic dark side. A whiny, complainy, obnoxious side.
You probably have someone show up in your facebook, twitter, and *gasp* google+ feed who is constantly complaining. Incessantly. And it’s obnoxious. But before we go brandishing the finger of judgement by pointing out others, I’ll start with me. I complain. And I hate how much I complain. At first, it didn’t seem like a big deal because my complaining started small. It was subtle, as it usually tried to contain a hint of a joke. This is how I got started in my social media complaining.
I was the king of the “letter to the inanimate object.” For example, “Dear grass in my back yard, Please stop growing so quickly. Sincerely, Adam.”
I didn’t say they were actually funny jokes.
But the problem with complaining is that, in the words of King James, complaining begats complaining. And it spirals out of control. I started posting less cleverly worded complaints, for example, “I hate humidity.” And the truth is, if I am honest, it was a subtle change that happened over time to the point I didn’t even know I was complaining. And it seeped out of my online presence into my everyday, walking around life.
And like most other issues, when I started noticing the complaining trend in everyone else, I knew it was time to inspect myself and I was not happy with what I found. I had become a complainer, a whiner, and something drastic needed to happen. To cut out complaining.
It makes it easier that the Bible doesn’t really play games when it comes to people who complain. Paul in Phil. 2:14 writes, “Do everything without complaining and arguing.”
I have thought of that verse a lot. Do everything. That’s tough. Doesn’t Paul know that at some point a lady in the grocery store is going to buy a week’s worth of groceries with her change jar? (She did. It was hard to bite my tongue). Ending all my complaining seemed daunting, so I figured why not make it as realistic as possible, and why not involve everyone, since we all are prone to complain. The realistic goal was to give up complaining for 24 hours. If enough people participated, this could change everything. Now, the only thing left was to choose which 24 hours.
Monday’s were too tough. And you couldn’t quote Office Space anymore.
Tuesday is kind of just sitting there.
Wednesday is the middle of the week. the half way point. Too easy.
Thursday features an evening tv line up of Community, Parks & Rec, & 30 Rock. No way you can complain about that.
Friday: well, its… Friday. The land of milk & honey, where chips and salsa flow like salmon of Capastrono.
Saturday: too much to do to complain, every one would be distracted.
Sunday: if you are complaining on Sunday, you need more than 24 hours.
And thus, No Compliants Tuesday was born.
But not complaining is not enough. So the goal become to replace my complaining with gratitude, with all the many ways I am lucky to be living the way I am. Not just to reduce the digital noise of complaining via tweet, but to reduce the verbal pollution my complaining caused.
It’s been going on for a couple months, and I actually look forward to Tuesdays. The intentionality of language is important, and this is a practical step. So join the movement. #nocomplaintstuesday is more than not complaining, but a movement of gratitude. So the challenge is to go without complaining every Tuesday and see how it changes not only your attitude, but the attitudes of those around you.
What are you grateful for today?