NOTE: Marshkn is a mom of two boys in Cincinnati, who will be a guest writer from time to time.
If I give up complaining, will I be less interesting? What makes a boring person? Most of us do want to be interesting to others. The theory goes that if we're interesting, people will like to be with us, so we'll get invited to their parties, they'll call us on the phone, etc. But sometimes someone asks me about my day and the only response I can muster is to grab a complaint that has been floating around in my head and present that as conversation fodder. Well, I guess that's a good reality check for how I approach my day.
What if I cleared my mind of complaints? What would be left?... How about observation? Being a "conscious witness" is a concept in many philosophies/religions, and refers to observing with calm detachment. Movies and books that really work are generally crafted by someone who can observe without being critical. Maybe we should leave the option of analysis of our observations to our listener. We don't usually accept someone else's pre-formed analysis anyway. We tend to want to get to the facts and form our own conclusions. The more we let go of the ego that shapes the world we see, the more we can see the world "as it is." And is that boring? I think not.
Life's many forms and outpourings are infinitely interesting. I would define boring as that which is cut off from life. Perhaps when we encounter a "boring" person, we should approach him/her as my yoga guru approached Cincinnati. She has lived in New York City, Boston and Toronto. I asked her once, "Why did you stay in Cincinnati?" knowing that so many "interesting" people leave Cincinnati for what they see as greener pastures (i.e. Portland, OR). She answered simply, "Because there was no yoga." By staying, and by applying her energy, she made Cincinnati more interesting, and probably made herself more interesting, too.
If you can make another person interesting to you, then voila -- you're interesting to that person. So, as we approach other people and life's situations, perhaps we can start by changing the question, "What's in it for me?" to "What's in it from me?" I don't think there would be much left to complain about.