To Whine or Not to Whine
by Dianne Neal Matthews
In 1986 Rev. Kevin Zaborney founded a new holiday: National Whiner’s Day. Ironically, the purpose of this observance is to encourage people to be thankful for what they have rather than unhappy about what they don’t have. The day after Christmas seemed the perfect time for such a reminder as many people feel tempted to focus on what their holiday season lacked or how they wish things had been different.
Rev. Zaborney’s tongue-in-cheek suggestions for celebrating National Whiner’s Day include visiting a mall or store to watch people whine as they return or exchange unwanted gifts or inviting friends over for a “Whine and Geeze” party. Each year, the most famous whiner(s) is announced on Zaborney’s website, from nominations accepted through December 15.
Complaining seems to be a natural part of our human nature, for some people more than others. But scientists who study the brain are finding that “toxic thoughts” such as negativity and pessimism do more than put us in a bad mood; they actually hurt us physically. Other studies have proved the emotional and physiological benefits of intentionally nurturing “positive emotions” like gratitude.
We shouldn’t be surprised that the Bible instructs us to avoid complaining and to express thanksgiving. God wants to help us safeguard our health. So on this National Whiner’s Day, even if you’re standing in line to return a gift that disappointed you, please don’t forget to count your blessings.
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook or Twitter.