No whining allowed

#ReverbBroads2012 Prompt Day #5: Come up with a new Constitutional Amendment (yep, I am breaking the “rules” and skipping around! Thanks, Brenda!)

I hereby decree that the next amendment to the Constitution of these amazing United States should be: If you whine about it, volunteer to change it

Definition of whining: to complain about in a feeble or petulant way.

That pretty much covers it. We all whine. We all vent our frustrations. It is human. We see an injustice or something doesn’t go our way at work and we shout from the Facebook, blog, Twitter rooftops: “Hey, I was wronged! ” Or, we don’t like the way an event or program has been planned and we chime in with snarky comments after everything has been done. We have all been there. Heck, sometimes we have even been that person. The angry staff member or committee member who did not jump on board when the opportunity for involvement was offered at the outset, suddenly sweeps in at the last minute to offer advice, with a smirk and barely veiled disdain. “Well, I wouldn’t have done it that way.” Then, crosses his/her arms and continues to pout until the meeting is over. Yep, pretty petulant.

I know myself quite well. I have a big mouth. I whine. I vent. A lot. Sometimes it can take me a few days (okay, with some stuff it is weeks!) to pull myself out of my self-indulgent slump. But, I always do. After I am done whining, I move into action mode. I open my big mouth and I volunteer myself to help. I speak up with suggested improvements and changes. This is how I came to be an RA, Orientation Leader, writer for the student newspaper, AmeriCorps volunteer, student affairs professional, committee member, conference planing committee member, MBTI certified, non-profit volunteer, bald Momma….

And therein lies my suggested amendment. If you whine about it, volunteer to change it.

Don’t like the music program at your kids’ school? Volunteer to be on the curriculum committee or PTO.

Wish you had a more flexible schedule? Talk to your supervisor.

Don’t like the lack of female representation on a university committee? Get on the committee.

Frustrated with your Congressperson? Write a letter. Make a phone call. Take your cause to the web. Twitter is quite powerful.

Do not be a petulant child who chimes in from the cheap seats after the fact. Whining is not helpful to the cause. It creates unnecessary drama, is disrespectful of the people who have actually devoted their time and talents to the cause, and it hurts morale. Whining is inevitably about the whiner. Usually the whiner is hurt, or angry, or unhappy with themselves about something. Don’t engage it. Push back and encourage involvement.

Just. do. something. Anything.

But no whining!

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