Written by Jacob Cody, WLLC 2015-2016
This week I tried to switch a rubber band to a different wrist every time I complained as a part of the week 3 practice. I’m not going to lie, I had a pretty rough week. I worked until 11pm three nights in a row, 2 nights of which I also had a test to study for either in Organic Chemistry or Bio, on top of joining rugby and dealing with other personal relationships. Oh yeah and attempting to get even just 6 hours of sleep every night.
Needless to say, I complained a lot, as college students do about our busy lives. This caused me to switch constantly. However, it didn’t change my habits of complaining very much, I just recognized it more. I was determined to change this habit, however, now that I was more aware of it and I amped the situation. Instead of merely switching wrists, I started to snap my wrists with the rubber band every time I complained. (This was easier to do than you’d think because I was quite disappointed when I discovered that this wasn’t the actual practice). Now I know what you’re thinking, and yes I am an animal. And honestly the snapping didn’t stop me at first. The more I did it, the worse I felt physically and mentally. I realize the purpose of this exercise was to stop complaining, but it helped me realize something else. Sometimes complaining is essential to help move on with the tough problems coming up in your life. More importantly, it helped me realize what is okay to complain about, because sometimes complaining can be productive. Let’s call that “venting.”
But I think many of us could learn from this experience on the other end of the spectrum. Some of us complain nonstop about the petty shit in our lives and that’s when it becomes unhealthy. I’m a strong believer that most things in life are good in moderation. By the end of the week, after all the venting, I could step back and realize all the things I have to be grateful for in my life, because I’m pretty blessed. More people should learn this lesson. We could all take more time to “say grace” for our wonderful lives, like Philip Yancey encourages.