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Hop off that whining-wheel

When I recently posted a short post on LinkedIn about our daily whining, the response was unexpectedly high. Obviously, there are a lot of people who are skeptical about whining and who consciously align themselves positively. There was some referring to the other side of the coin, very rightly: complaining can help. However: whom, actually?

Acute or chronic?

Of course I moan! Something went wrong? Things turned out to be unfavorable? Went against my plans? Okay, I can't bump my foot on the door frame, but I do like to end up with my wheelchair in the dead end of parking curbs and something as simple as crossing a street becomes a gauntlet. To vent an acute frustration is liberating. That's what our feelings are for, to express them. They should openly show us and our counterparts what the world feels like inside of us. Now. The essential question is simple; whether acute whining turns into a chronic whimpering syndrome (with the latter I would wake up in the morning knowing that all the curbs in this world have conspired against me because they are always parked up. That I will never go my way unhindered and I would send daily sighs into the world over this curb conspiracy). That the killer words of the culture of lamentation are printed in italics - a small present for friends of self-reflection.

But, one has to be able to complain!

The word complaint already contains “p(l)ain”. Complaining doesn't make anything easier. Constantly complaining about everything and everyone, no matter how justified it may seem, brings one thing above all: sagging shoulders under the burden of frustration and - pain. So far, so unproductive. As a person in a wheelchair, I could complain about an endless number of symptoms of social ignorance on a daily basis. Could scream and scream because barrier-free toilets - if they are available at all - are littered storage rooms in every second restaurant. Because I have to plan a lot more time than other people (don’t you dare think about my hairstyle now). Because people don't know if and how to shake hands with me when I don't have one. Because others ask me indiscreet questions about my sex life, because from their point of view I can't have one. And and and.

Woe and oh and on we go

Again and again I come across people complaining about a multitude of exactly such things. The world is not tailored to their very personal needs or characteristics. What a sacrilege. Yes, that can be annoying. No, this is not a conspiracy. It's just like that. And getting stuck in a woe and oh mode doesn't change anything, for anyone. Perhaps we receive attention and (compassionate) consolation in the loop of the depressed victim attitude; maybe that will do us good for a moment. It doesn't change anything. At this point the counter question often arises: should I just accept everything like that? No! Not at all. Feel free to go into action. Get moving instead of getting weighed down.

Storm the summit, don’t tear up in the valley

My disillusioned résumé of an online lecture that I gave to people with disabilities or inclusion activists is still fresh. It is very important to me to plant more motivation for movement in the sense of personal responsibility in hearts and minds. Because I don't believe, but because I know that the personal happiness we feel has its cradle inside ourselves. In our view of things and the resulting thoughts and actions. People who feel self-effective are happier. End of story.

During the said lecture, I quickly felt that this message was not really asked for. Rather, there was an atmosphere of self-pity and wailing. Us, the poor underprivileged. Us, who have such a hard time in life. Us, who are only able when the circumstances ... An omnipresent "Yes, but ..." in the room.

I see how much room for development there is when it comes to accessibility, how we deal with extraordinary features as a matter of course, and how to break down prejudices and stigmata. Confronting it is part of my everyday life. I not only see, but I live every day in this space of development – to the top, to the side and forwards when I exhaust my possibilities. When I acknowledge realities only to blow them up. The fact that I travel today, drive a car, looked into volcanic craters and now even sit in the racing car is not the result of complaints, but of dreams, visualization and simple questions: How could it go for me?

Live or lament?

It's your choice. I didn't have a choice of what my body would look like. But I have the choice of using the opportunities that life opens up to me. I have the choice of lamenting, laughing or calling the towing service at the curb. I have the choice to work through actual limits or to acknowledge them (“I will never be able to hold a steering wheel!”), In order to then devote myself to the paths that are open or still want to be conquered (“How cool is car control via joystick actually!").

Hop off the whining-wheel every now and then, because your best life is easy!

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© 2024 Janis McDavid