A Hope for Not Complaining

Author Maya Angelou offers a wonderful hope for not complaining:

“If you don’t like something, change it.

If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Don’t complain.”

What excellent advice Maya gives, but it is often not easy to follow.  Sometimes people are powerless to change things, and sometimes they have strong, unyielding opinions that are difficult to change about those things.

The secret is in the last sentence of Maya’s quotation:  “Don’t complain.”  Things may not change, attitudes may not change, but complainers can choose not to complain out loud.

There are many complainers, but there are also many silent sufferers who are unable to change their circumstances or their attitudes about something that has hurt them very deeply–so deeply that they do not talk about or complain about it to others.

These hurts are often mental and emotional bruises and wounds that are never seen on people’s exterior countenances or in their speech or mannerisms.

There is much evidence that proves it is beneficial for people with these types of bruises and wounds to vent their complaints to someone, especially an experienced professional who knows how to help people who suffer from mental or emotional trauma.

People have different religious and spiritual beliefs that help them heal from illnesses, pains, wounds, bruises, and hurts of all kinds.  As part of my core spiritual and healing beliefs, I believe that Nature is a great mood enhancer and healer.

In the book, Blinded by Science, Author Matthew Silverstone proves scientifically that trees improve depression, headaches, ADHD, concentration, reaction times, and mental illness.

The African Bantu tribes have a spring ceremony during which they offer their personal, traumatic wounds to a tree.  During the ceremony, as they celebrate their intentions to never speak out loud about their wounds again, the Bantu tribes give their wounds to a tree for healing purposes.

I do not know if this Bantu ceremony actually heals the wounds of the Bantu tribes, but this or a similar ceremony–during which people vow to never speak out loud about their complaints again–could certainly be very therapeutic and healing.

This year “Tree Hugging Day” is March 19, 2012, the eve of the March 20th spring equinox.   March 19th could be a good day to venture into Nature specifically to have private ceremonies, where people release old wounds and complaints.

That way, the spring equinox could mark a fresh, new complaint-free beginning for the rest of the year.

Below is a YouTube video of Patti LaBelle singing “I Can’t Complain.”

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11 comments on “A Hope for Not Complaining

  1. Elisa Hough says:

    Where did you learn about the Bantu spring ceremony? Is it in Blinded by Science? I’m doing research on seasonal traditions in Kenya, would love to know more. Thanks!


  2. Bobby says:

    I cherish this : ” for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, there with to be content.”


    • Connie Wayne says:

      So true. Not complaining does foster contentedness. I also like the scripture from the Bible that you reference. The Apostle Paul was right…contentedness is something that is learned; and, unfortunately, many never learn to be content. Thanks for reading and commenting. Blessings, Connie


  3. There are a few definitions of the word “complain” and yes those who complain in the sense of expressing dissatisfaction or about their personal issues can be irritating.
    But what about the third type “to make a formal accusation?” The Founding Fathers wrote a letter to King George III about the intolerable acts of 1774.
    Tree lovers, such as I, have written complaint letters about deforestation and habitat destruction to congress and senate to facilitate a change.

    My point here is that an active complaint can be the change that Ms Angelou speaks of.


    • Connie Wayne says:

      Good point. The Founding Fathers and the tree lovers you mention are among the group of people who did not like something and did something to change it. They did not keep complaining without doing something. The world needs more people like that! I like your phrase “active complaint.” Thanks for sharing. Connie


  4. Connie, I always Hug trees, Its a Passion! of mine.. the energy a tree gives is amazing if you can feel it.. and its a two way thing.. as are trees in life.. We live off of there breath and they live off of ours… We need each other.. Trees and Nature will cleanse and heal.. Water is another healer and cleanser.. When I was poorly I often went out into the woods and would seek a tree out. then sit with my back to its bark and ask its permission to be given some of its energy.. If you hold your hand to a tree trunk and really ‘Feel’ you will sense its pulse vibrating into the earth..
    When I sit to meditate, I visualise roots going down into the earth like that of a tree connecting with our Earth Mother.. Whom we are ALL of us connected too..
    Many thanks for this Post.. enjoyed it greatly.. ~ Sue xx


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