Somehow I'm being assaulted with whine lately.
People, it seems, are whining a lot these days.
I know it's happening all around me all the time. I spend a good bit of my life just ignoring it.
I think it's sad really, that so many people feel so very badly about their lives and feel powerless to be able to make the choice to feel differently about things or at least to spend their energy and time in a different way.
I think, actually, that a lot of people like to whine.
It's a sort of drama thing. Attention seeking.
Like my children in my home, like any children. They will clamor for attention and if it doesn't come quickly enough or strongly enough for the positive things they do, they will start doing negative things. Attention is attention, after all.
As adults we like to think we're above that.
Just read the paper or talk to your neighbors or friends.
There is on going whine about teachers, their hours and their pay. I understand their issues, but at the same time, didn't a person decide to become a teacher because they wanted and loved to teach? Was it simply about hours and pay?
Personally, I will be sad to find out my kids teachers are motivated by money and hours more than my kids learning how to learn and having a better future.
There is plenty of whine going on in the stands of any youth sports.
We want our kids to play because it's good to learn to be on a team. It's good experience to learn to be a team player. It's important to learn to be a good winner and a good loser. It's important to be active and learn to find the physical activities we enjoy and can play at all our lives to keep ourselves healthy.
But the sidelines are filled with whine.
"The coach isn't paying attention. The team should be told to do this instead of that. Why is the coach not doing this for the kids or running that play?" And on and on and on.
Most youth coaches are parents. Parents with other kids besides the one on the team. Parents with jobs and lives.
Parent coaches, and in turn their families, spend lots and lots of hours and dollars on the team.
They aren't professional athletes or coaches. They are doing the best they can with zero training or resources provided for them. They are doing the best they can by your kids without your help.
Try having your kids come to all the practices on time. Great effort was put into scheduling them and planning them. Try teaching your kids to listen to and respect the instructions given by the coach even if it's different from what you are telling them at home.
Better yet, if you disagree with the coaches or have questions about the drills or skill being taught, ask some questions. Coaches are their early before practice to set up for your kids and stay late after to clean up behind them. (Ever wonder how a coach ends up with a lost and found box in their car??) Coaches are available by phone and email.
Even better. Volunteer to help your kids coaches. There are tons of ways to help that aren't even "athletic" if you feel that isn't your skill.
Make sure the team has water for a game. Stand by with a first aid kit to hand out a band aid or ice pack. Encourage the kids without conflicting what the coach instructs or distracting the kids. Handle the post game snack volunteer. Organize the forms and fees and photo day junk. Take team photos. Cheer just as loud for the kid that makes an error as the one that scores the winning points. NEVER forget it's a game and it's for your kids fun and enjoyment.
Then we have the everyday garden variety of whine.
We are a whining discontent people. We have been since before we wandered the desert looking for the promised land.
"Gas costs too much. My wife doesn't do the laundry the way I like. My husband doesn't do things without my asking. My son doesn't study enough. My daughter doesn't do enough around the house. My car is scratched up. My house isn't clean enough. My body doesn't look the way it should. My friends don't call me. My life is boring. My job doesn't pay enough. My boss doesn't recognize my hard work. My wife doesn't cook what I like. My husband works too much. We don't make enough money. It rained today. Someone ate the last cookie. That person looked at me funny. That person didn't smile or say hello. My Facebook doesn't get enough pokes. My blog doesn't have enough hits or comments."
I could go on for a lifetime.
We whine. Constantly.
Most of it is about our attitudes and our greed.
The reality is, life goes along on it's own and it isn't according to our whims and desires or what we think is just and fair and reasonable. It isn't predictable all the time. It's almost never fair.
Why we think life should be any of those things, I don't know.
The best part of all this whine, the richest part, is the Christian factor of it all.
We whine in our prayers. We whine about non-believers and all faults and mistakes and imperfections. We whine about our "fellow believers", our "brothers and sisters in Christ".
Out of one side of our mouths we are up to our judgmental eyeballs in spite and malice and condemnation and pride.
You know the words. I know you do.
"She claims to be all Christian but then she goes along and does..."
"He says to everyone he's a Christian but look how he acts..."
"They say they're a Christian family but look what they say to each other..."
"If she spent more time with God than doing..."
"If he spent more time volunteering than..."
"If they put their money into ministry then..."
"If she prayed harder or followed the commands better or..."
"As a Christian, I would never..."
"I can't believe they would..."
We whine because we have no humility. We are unable to give grace or forgiveness. We are unable to stop holding grudges. We are unable to focus on something beyond our own greed, whether for something material or something indescribable.
I suspect there is a way to live life without whining, but that would have an awful lot to do with being content and accepting, being patient and kind.
And yes, I am fully aware that this entire post is my own whine about my fellow man. That irony is not lost on me at all.