On #stfu

20 February, 2011

I‘m convinced more than ever that the more you complain, the less you actually have to complain about. The correlation is uncanny.

This morning, I actually heard someone bemoan the fact that “Everyone thinks I get 3 months of vacation. But I don’t. I only get six weeks of vacation.*”

Six weeks? Is that all? Pobrecita. (NB: no, she was not being ironic in the least. She was actually self-piteous.)

This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this relationship, mind you. It’s just the most succinctly I’ve been able to articulate it — and maybe the most egregious abuse of people’s capacity for empathy.

Perhaps it’s also striking a chord  because I could paint a pretty vivid sob-story of recent events in my life lately, if I wanted to. But not only do I have no desire to make my life that public, I do not want to ask for pity that you may or may not think I deserve. Sympathy is relative. I may not get six weeks’ vacation, but it could always be worse. Let’s not lose sight of that.

I’ve decided I’d much rather rely on the sincerity of a few close friends than the faux-concern of whoever happens to be in earshot when I feel like opening up my pie-hole.

I’m thinking of spearheading a public awareness campaign to rid the world of whining, one whinger at a time. Won’t you join me?

* – So yeah, this woman is a teacher. And I know how incredibly hard most teachers work. I appreciate it thoroughly. But I don’t know any other teachers who would, while lazily eating brunch, bother complaining to a bunch of non-teachers and people who were working on a Saturday that six weeks’ worth of vacation is insufficient. Maybe she should move to Sweden and look for compassion there.