2014-02-27 / Lifestyles

Jest for Fun

Lois A. Corcoran Lois A. Corcoran Many observe Lent by giving up some form of unchristian-like behavior. Sincere efforts to meet such challenge can make that 40 days feel more like 400.

While mulling over what sacrifice to make this year, it occurred to me that griping never goes out of style. Thanks to social networks, it’s even wider received now.

I heard about a 22-year old North Carolina waitress who chose Facebook to broadcast her beef about a cheap tipper. But she went too far when she named the restaurant and promptly got canned.

Obviously one has to be careful to whom (or what) one gripes. Tell the wrong acquaintance and it lands you in hot water with employers, friends, or family members.

This happened to me on more than one occasion. The circumstances varied, but the results were the same: Plenty of hard feelings to go around.

Even gripes that cannot go viral may have a dire effect. Given my son’s tight-lipped nature, I can complain to him to my heart’s content, knowing he’ll never tell a soul. He’s been my sounding board for years, but at what price to him?

So my goal for Lent this year is to give up griping. Heaven knows my life is easier than most. For starters, I live in a warm house and always have food on the table. I really should wipe it off.

Seriously, things could be a lot worse. Imagine the hardships Jesus faced. He had more important things to think about than petty grievances. You can bet he never complained about stale manna or having to wear last year’s robes.

So I searched online for aids to help me in my quest. Alas, I found no special gum to chew or patch to wear that eliminates the urge to gripe. I did, however, find a bracelet.

You may have heard about it on Oprah a few years back. Participants wear the purple bracelet inscribed with the words “A Complaint Free World” around one wrist as a reminder not to gripe. The object is to keep from kvetching for 21 days, the time it takes to break a bad habit.

If you forget and grumble about something, you must transfer the bracelet to the other wrist and begin all over again.

Come Lent, I’ll don one and try to kick the habit. I may need all 40 days and then some.

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