The Art of Not Bitching

I’m trying to work on my not bitching.

I don’t think I do a particular lot of it  and I’m fairly stoic about most things. But it nevertheless creeps in, displaying as a jerk-ish comment,  commiserating gripe, or perhaps a common ground conversational piece.

Sometimes it’s over something petty, like the cash registers not yet being turned on when I want to buy coffee because the one person on the whole staff who has that magical power hasn’t showed up yet. Sometimes it’s something more significant, like when the leader of our country does… well, there’s a whole lot of bitch potential there.

And there’s also a lot of in-between: all the things that happen during the day-to-day to annoy my sense of what should and should not be the case.

Sometimes the bitch is justified. Sometimes it’s not. Maybe most times it’s not. But it doesn’t matter if it is or if it isn’t with respect to the question of To bitch or not to bitch.

I think the answer is one of effect rather than justification. And that’s how I’m trying to look at my life more: cause and effect. Look at it that way before good and bad, right and wrong, and other perhaps well-intended but somewhat vacuous, or at least subservient, terms.

I make a snide comment at the above store or rant on twitter or maybe just mutter to myself as the guy on the road cuts me off when I was doing “everything” right and he is “obviously” just being a–

But then what? The bitch, sure, but then what? What has it accomplished? How has it helped my situation? More to the point, how in the world could it help? There is no real action behind it.

I suppose I could talk to the manager directly about giving someone else the authority to turn on the registers, or bring a petition X to Twitter regarding Trump’s latest shoe drop, or get the license plate of the unsafe driver to report to whomever gets such reports.

But I will do none of those things. For when I start putting them into actionable terms, I force myself to face up to the fact that I was bitching just of the sake of bitching, without the intent of doing anything at all.

And that’s not how I want to live my life, and certainly not how I want to advise kids to live theirs.

Time is way too short to have on-paper-only beliefs and speak empty words.

If a belief doesn’t encourage you to take action, it’s a bullshit belief.

If a bitch doesn’t accomplish a damn thing, then it isn’t worth a damn.

We need to aim our bitching higher. We can’t remain satisfied with Facebook Likes and creating self-indulgent memes that go viral then evaporate. If there is something truly worth bitching about, then it’s truly worth the effort to try and fix it.

Which is exactly what I am trying to do, both with this post and myself.