Joseph Reed / Blog

Forgive me when I whine

Do you ever go to bed, shut your eyes and then you are quickly awake again thinking only five minutes has passed, but after looking at the clock you painfully realize that it’s time to wake up? What a horrible feeling! This happened to me last night and let me tell you, I didn't feel any motivation whatsoever to kick off my wonderful day with a grin. Do you remember the TV adds for Coast soap? The slogan was "The scent opens your eyes". I took a shower with my eyes shut the whole time! But hey, how often do your eyelids receive proper cleaning right? So I stomp through the house and am whining the whole time. I said things like "I never get enough sleep", "My days are too hectic", "Well I guess this is going to be another long day", "My back hurts", "Looks like today will be a bad hair day" and my ever so famous whine "I'm Fat!” Whining is something we could do 24/7 if we allowed ourselves. The lines at the grocery store are too long, the cost of living is going up, my clothes don’t fit like they use too. Don’t get me wrong, stating the truth isn’t whining, but how you state the truth could be whining. The definition of whine is: To utter a plaintive, high-pitched, protracted sound, as in pain, fear, supplication, or complaint. To complain or protest in a childish fashion. Whining is generally useless. The only thing we learn from it is how “cartoonish” our voice can sound. Whining doesn’t look past the moment, it’s a simple act of negativity. A great writer, Nick Jans, a contributing writer for USA Today, wrote in June of 2004, “Why whine? Gas is pricey, but at least it's plentiful”. Mr. Jans went on to say “We can never underestimate our power as individuals to effect change. But until we act as if gas prices and consumption matter — eschew our Explorers and Hemi-powered Dodges for energy-efficient alternatives — we can't even begin to complain.” There us always more than one perspective to a situation. We can whine and change nothing, or state the truth and promote ways to make bad things better. I often think of a poem I heard some 15 years ago written by an unknown author and recited by the late gospel legend George Younce of the Cathedral Quartet. Today upon a bus I saw a girl with golden hair. I envied her and wished I were as fair. Then I saw her rise and hobble down the aisle - She had one leg and wore a crutch, but as she passed, she smiled. Oh God, forgive me when I whine. I have two legs and the world is mine. And then later I stopped by a store to buy some sweets. The lad who sold them had such charm, I stayed to chat a while - If I were late, would do no harm. When I turned to leave, he said, "Thank you sir; you've been so kind. It's nice to talk with folks like you. You see”, he said, "I'm blind". Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes and the world is mine. Farther on down the street, I saw a child with eyes so blue - He stood and watched the others play, as though puzzled what to do. I stopped and said, "Why don't you join the others, dear?” He looked straight ahead without a word, and then I knew he couldn't hear. Oh God, forgive my words of woe - I've eyes to see the sunsets glow. I've ears to hear what others say and legs to take me on my way. Oh God, Please God, forgive me when I whine – I am blessed indeed…and the world is mine. I have to remember that there are people who are going through worse circumstances than I. While I am whining of the water not staying hot long enough in my shower, there is a family somewhere who won't get to take a shower today because of no running water. While I'm whining of my weight, someone is wondering where their next meal is coming from. I have wonderful people in my life and all of the beautiful things around me were created by GOD for ME. Oh God. Forgive me when I whine. I'm blessed indeed and the world is mine.