Being Grateful

Gratitude is Fresh Water for your Soul

Christopher Laine
9 min readAug 29, 2021

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Clean Water (original photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

I get it. With the way things are, people feel let down. It feels like this pandemic has gone on forever. Social injustice and world strife are abundant. We work more but have less. We feel displaced, controlled, put out. The world feels like it’s out to get us, that everything we have keeps getting messed with. And we like to say so.

You can’t turn your head without bumping into someone who has a gripe about how things are going. Peruse the front page of Medium if you want countless examples. People like to talk / write about what is going badly and how it sucks.

Again, I get that. I feel a sense of something not quite right, of being out on a limb with the rest of the human race hanging out there with me. Times are (relatively-speaking) tough. Things looks shakier and less certain and more off-putting than any other time we’ve known.

So it seems only natural to grouse about it. Not totally unfair. It is, after all, in our basic nature to want better not worse. So we see things which upset us, irritate us, otherwise make things less than the ideal we’d like, and our first port of call is speak out, say what’s upsetting us.

That’s a valid feeling, and a valid response. There is always validity of some kind in expressing your feelings, of having a voice and having a say.

Yet there’s always another side to the proverbial coin.

Complaining is a Spectrum

Like most stuff in life, the act of complaining is a spectrum. On one end, we have someone who says “Hey! My landlord took out my hot water heater and refuses to get a new one, AND raised my rent!” That’s a valid complaint, and one I wouldn’t want anyone to keep to themselves.

Way on the other end of the complaining spectrum is never-ending complaining, a ceaseless gripe of all / any inconvenience or slight. If we have that same someone complaining about the landlord’s choice of nails used in constructing the house, the colour of the building, the fact that the landlord’s not quite as friendly as they’d like, etc. then that’s quite a different matter. A litany of complaints which just go on and on.

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