Count your blessings and put a smile on your face

Originally appeared in “Letters” in Ami Magazine’s AmiLiving.

Smile Stop complainingI would like to comment on the story of the mother who wrote she ruined her daughter’s marriage.

First of all, don’t blame yourself for ruining her marriage; blame yourself for raising such a spoiled kvetch. Since when has the norm become to kvetch about everything that’s not as perfect as you dreamed it would be? I can’t understand why, when I sit at a simcha or talk on the phone with certain people, all they do is kvetch and complain. Sometimes, I can’t even blame them, because that’s all they saw and heard at home. Totty doesn’t bring enough money, totty doesn’t help enough. My mom, sister, brother, should be doing more, etc. My favorite is an acquaintance of mine who always “complained” how hard it is to take care of her elderly mother because all she does is “complain!” If you need help, hire it. I know it costs money, so do as I do, cut corners somewhere else. I don’t buy myself new clothes, jewelry (even cheap costume jewelry), accessories, etc., because I feel my cleaning help is important.  You’re tired, take a nap, make it work. You need a vacation?  Do as I did, I went with my friend to sit at the water for a few hours to unwind. Maybe you think I am middle-aged, or something like that. No, I am young. A mother of six little kids, and I really try to never complain and just count my blessings.

I recently had a medical procedure done and called my doctor the next day with a question.  The first thing I told him was, “Don’t worry everything is ok.” Then I asked him my question. After he answered me, he said, “You know, you are a great patient.” I had a similar experience during my visits to my orthopedist after I broke a bone badly. At every visit he asked how I feel, and I always said, “I’m fine.” He always looked at the nurse and said, “She never complains!” I shudder to think how people kvetch on their poor doctors heads. This is not to say you can’t tell a doctor what’s bothering you, but endless kvetching? Come on and grow up! Count your blessings and put a smile on your face.

It will change your life.

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  1. I think this is one of the most obnoxious, self-righteous articles I’ve ever read.

    This woman clearly thinks she has it all figured out. I think she is severely lacking in empathy.

    How fortunate for her that her biggest problem seems to be deciding between new clothes and cleaning help. How lucky she is that she can simply take a nap if she needs one and thus dispense with any fatigue she feels. She seems to feel that overcoming these and similar obstacles gives her the right to judge others, and to assume that their lives are as simple as hers is and that any complaints they express are therefore invalid.

    Yes, I too have occasionally found myself feeling impatient with privileged people’s whining. But when that happens, I try to remind myself to be humble and to refrain from judging them. Everyone has their own individual threshold for pain, and everyone’s nisyonos are difficult for them, even if that can be hard for someone else to appreciate. What seems easy to me may be very difficult for someone else, because of their temperament, their broader circumstances, and a whole host of factors of which I may not be aware.

    Learning to tolerate adversity without complaining is an unarguably noble goal. So is responding with empathy to others’ pain even if you can’t understand it, and having the humility to recognize the limitations of your perspective and to refrain from judging and criticizing others.


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