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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's a Beautiful World, Damn It!

"The optimist thinks we live in the best of all possible worlds, the pessimist fears this is true." --Robert Oppenheimer

I realized this morning that I'm sick of all the negativity I'm surrounded by day in and day out. At the Evil Day Job (EDJ), there's so much complaining that I have a stock phrase I tell people who come to my cube to whine. I always ask: "Can you do anything about it? Can I do anything about it?"

Of course, the answer is no.

That's when I tell them that they have two choices, they either find a new job or they quit complaining and deal with reality. That doesn't go over real well, but I don't get a lot of complainers at my cube any more. :-) That doesn't mean I don't overhear it. Constantly.

I get the negativity at my parents' house, too. As my mom has gotten older, she complains more and more. There have been times that I've gotten up and left because I can't take it any longer. I have told her why I'm leaving, but it doesn't seem to stem the negativity.

Then there's the Internet. Maybe it's just the sites I go to, but it seems like one of the places where there's the most negativity. There are so many people who have nothing positive to say.

Here's where I confess that I tend to be a glass half empty person, but I like to think that I don't whine all that much. Mostly. :-) But I know there's room for improvement. Probably more than I realize.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have to change my attitude. Hey, Michael Jackson had a great song called Man In the Mirror that talked about this very thing. :-)

I know it's not going to be easy, but I heard on television about this Kansas City minister who is selling purple bracelets and every time the wearer complains or whines, they are supposed to take the bracelet off one wrist and put it on the other--a way of calling attention to an attitude that's become so ingrained that it's unconscious. No endorsement from me since I haven't ordered anything or tried it, but if you want to find out more, go to A Complaint Free World. They also have a video posted on CBC from when it covered it on their News Sunday programming.

While I haven't ordered these bracelets yet, I am thinking about it. One for me, my mom, and my dad (Who really isn't a complainer, but it doesn't hurt, right?). I wish I could hand them out at work and to some of the people I see online, but of course, I can't.

So here's my challenge to the world: Let's try to be more optimistic and complain less. I'm starting with myself and I'm beginning today.