It’s All Relative: Why Compassion Is Better Than Complaining

Have you ever caught yourself complaining about something when you really didn’t have a good reason to complain? Especially in the current state of our world? I have, I’m ashamed to admit.

Deep In The Heart Of Texas – Waco

I visited Texas last weekend with two close friends. It was our annual “get away from March Madness” trip.  We explored a part of the country we had not been to before — Waco and Dallas.

If you live in the United States, you can probably guess why we went to Waco.  It’s the home of Magnolia, Chip and Joanna Gaines’s highly successful home-renovating and decorating enterprise. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, we did see Joanna Gaines!

We stayed overnight in Waco, in a little shotgun house not too far from The Silos. Chip and Joanna didn’t renovate this particular house but their style certainly showed through. The Airbnb host left explicit instructions to follow his directions to the house as it was the most scenic route. We soon discovered why.

Like many neighborhoods in many locations around the world, we were in an area in the process of being revitalized. Some of the neighboring houses had been “fixed up” but others were a little more rough around the edges. As we turned into the driveway, we could see a group of men in the road about three blocks away. A sign on the side of the house reminding us to remove all our valuables from the car and lock it added to our nervousness. Did we pick the best place to stay?

Time To Think

As I lay in bed, I was struck by my own thoughts.

I was fearful in this lovely home with everything I needed, including an alarm system to warn me of danger, while across the globe, women in Ukraine were going to bed wondering if their city was the next to be attacked by the Russians.

I mentally complained about the firm mattress, so unlike my more comfortable mattress at home, then I thought of all the people in Ukraine trying to sleep on the floors of subway stations.

Exploring The Big D

From Waco, we traveled to Dallas. We visited several attractions while we were in Dallas that included a variety of interests:

  • Political — The George W. Bush Presidential Center
  • Pop Culture — Southfork Ranch, home of the fictional Ewing Family on the TV series, Dallas
  • Nature — The Dallas Arboretum where we saw an incredible display of tulips
  • History — A John F. Kennedy Assassination Tour

For three days, we went where we wanted to go and did what we wanted to do.  We ate delicious food in beautiful settings. We admired the architecture, so different from our small town in central Florida. We purchased food from a well-stocked grocery store.

It Depends On Where You Are

What we didn’t do was worry about an imminent attack from a foreign country. We weren’t concerned about where we were going to find food or water. And even though the highways on which we traveled were congested, we didn’t worry that we might not have enough gas to make it to the border — like the people in Ukraine.

We had an enjoyable weekend in spite of a couple of restless nights.

I wonder, though, if one day it could be us in the United States under attack and some random woman traveling through Europe, Asia or Africa catches herself complaining then realizes a sister on the other side of the world has it so much worse. Maybe she will stop what she’s doing and say a prayer.

How about you? Do you ever find yourself complaining about things that are insignificant in the grand scheme of things? What do you do to shift gears? I’d love to hear.

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