In 2021, Stop Complaining

 

It’s become a sport online, complaining about the year 2020. Yeah, it hasn’t been easy for anyone. But there’s a subsection of folks who haven’t really had a hard year, but who spend the bulk of their time complaining about it. They don’t know anyone close to them who have gotten sick or died (of anything), they haven’t lost any income; their lives are largely unaffected outside of missed vacations. And yet, 2020 has been the worst year of their lives, and they do nothing but tell you about it on the Internet.

And here we are in the dead of winter in December and they’re miserable. And I believe they are because they’ve psyched themselves into that misery over the course of the last nine months. They’ve told themselves they’re miserable so much, they’ve started to internalize that narrative.

Compare this behavior with the folks I know who have actually lost income or loved ones, and who are resiliently working through the challenges 2020 has thrown them. How often do you see folks like this wallowing in their misery, constantly posting memes about 2020? Very infrequently.

That’s for a reason. Resilient people don’t spend their time obsessing about the curveballs life has thrown them, they focus on overcoming them. And so, if this year hasn’t brought severe and tragic disruption to your life and yet managed to be the worst year of your life, focus on the fact that your life up until this point has been truly blessed, and in 2021, the sky is the limit on the return of normalcy. My advice to anyone going through trauma of any kind applies to 2020: Fake it until you make it. Your mind is the most powerful weapon you own; don’t turn it against yourself.

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  1. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    They do not teach optimism. They do not teach to ever give in either to undue hope

    The hope is in Christ. That’s where the strength comes from.

    • #31
  2. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

     

    Just because I think a lot of people could use one. I know it’s only virtual, but it really is heartfelt and sincere.

    • #32
  3. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    2021 is going to be worse.

    • #33
  4. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Anon (View Comment):

    I think I know where you’re going with this post, and while I understand and share some of your sentiments, phrased as they are, they seem to me to be a bit too angry and very reminiscent of what Hillary sounded like during and after her campaign.

    Boy, I don’t see that at all. Hillary whined and whined and whined about the election. Bethany is saying stop the whining if your life isn’t really that bad.

    Maybe that was part of the point?  Hilary whined and whined and whined, even though she’s still very wealthy and stuff.

    • #34
  5. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):
    everyone has become stupid.

    Not far from the truth.

    Most people were always stupid, as far as I’m concerned:  most people have an IQ of 100 or less, by definition.  But in previous times, the stupid didn’t get to inflict it so much on the rest.

    • #35
  6. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    And about the rank stupidity of those in my state who elected their Dictator to a third consecutive term.

    Or maybe they didn’t.  These days, it’s difficult or even impossible to really know.  But in the case of WA, it may very well be true.

    • #36
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Cat III, the One that Sparked … (View Comment):
    I’ve got 30+ years of complaining under my belt. It would be criminal to deprive the world of a skill I’ve honed so well.

    Well, at least be original. That’s all we ask. Not recycled, stale old complaints. Fresh, original ones.

    My stupid starship only gets 50 light-years to the gallon of antimatter!

     

    How’s that?

    • #37
  8. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Complain, complain, complain…those restauranteurs…always complaining. And don’t even get me started on all the small business owners that went out of business. They all just need to lighten up and be happier…apparently.

    Hmm, I reread Bethany’s post and don’t see where she says nobody has a right to complain.

    Bethany Mandel: But there’s a subsection of folks who haven’t really had a hard year, but who spend the bulk of their time complaining about it. They don’t know anyone close to them who have gotten sick or died (of anything), they haven’t lost any income; their lives are largely unaffected outside of missed vacations. And yet, 2020 has been the worst year of their lives, and they do nothing but tell you about it on the Internet.

    She’s clearly talking about people who haven’t really been harmed but want to put themselves in the spotlight.

    • #38
  9. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Bethany Mandel: in 2021, the sky is the limit on the return of normalcy

    I hope so, but let’s not take that for granted.  If nothing else, complaining about 2020 is a healthy way to remind ourselves and each other that this socially-distant lifestyle is not normal and we should not get too accustomed to it. 

    • #39
  10. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment): The difference between this bad year and other bad years is that in other bad years you could at least seek the comfort of friends and family.

    In 2020 we are denied simple human contact.

    That’s why this year sucks so much.

    You may die lonely. You may never make friends again. Your only company may be your laptop and your government-provided sex doll. But cheer up! You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy! Isn’t that bug sandwich de-li-cious? Mmm-mmm!

    • #40
  11. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Stina (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    They do not teach optimism. They do not teach to ever give in either to undue hope

    The hope is in Christ. That’s where the strength comes from.

    I wish more Christians would consider how “put your hope in Christ” sounds to the average ear:

    You may never accomplish anything. Your life might amount to nothing. You’ll never know what it’s like to love or be loved, to raise a family, to build something and then pass it on to a new generation. But cheer up! At the end of it all, if you’ve maintained the requisite chipper attitude and recited the requisite prayers, you can get stoned with Jesus! You, too, can melt into the all-encompassing world-mind of perfect perfection and have your individuality melt away!

    The goods of this world — the real goods of this world, not the false ones — are solid, immediate, and active. Once upon a time, absent some terrible external event, the vast majority of people who survived to adulthood had a chance at enjoying them. But these goods been taken from us moderns, piece by piece — taken by capitalism (I’m not a communist, but, hey, they make a few good points), taken by the technological revolution, taken by COVID restrictions and lockdowns. The goods of heaven, by contrast, are abstract, distant, and static, and they (frankly) provide little consolation.

    To love God is to love thy neighbor, and to love thy neighbor is not to virtue-signal at thy neighbor on social media, but rather to build a Christian community with him. We’re not allowed to do this. So what use is Christianity, then?

    • #41
  12. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment): The difference between this bad year and other bad years is that in other bad years you could at least seek the comfort of friends and family.

    In 2020 we are denied simple human contact.

    That’s why this year sucks so much.

    You may die lonely. You may never make friends again. Your only company may be your laptop and your government-provided sex doll.

    Wait, . . . is that part of the stimulus package?

    • #42
  13. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Kephalithos (View Comment):
    I wish more Christians would consider how “put your hope in Christ” sounds to the average ear:

    A lot of what is often called “Christian-ese” is schmalzy and tinny, even to other Christians, because so many have reduced Christianity down to either a “Get out of Hell Free” card, or even “All good* people go to heaven” free pass.  It is nothing of the sort.

    *”Good” = “generally nice” in this context.


    Kephalithos (View Comment):
    You may never accomplish anything. Your life might amount to nothing. You’ll never know what it’s like to love or be loved, to raise a family, to build something and then pass it on to a new generation. But cheer up! At the end of it all, if you’ve maintained the requisite chipper attitude and recited the requisite prayers, you can get stoned with Jesus! You, too, can melt into the all-encompassing world-mind of perfect perfection and have your individuality melt away!

    You honestly think this is Christianity?  Sounds more like Buddhism.  Or least a watered down caricature of an already watered down therapeutic deism.

    Kephalithos (View Comment):
    The goods of this world — the real goods of this world, not the false ones — are solid, immediate, and active.

    And will still turn to dust and be forgotten in time.  How many generations back can you point to your family?  What can you point of theirs that truly endured?  My family history ends in some forgotten Irish subsistence farm, or a bog in Finland.  Nothing you can put your hands on will endure.

    • #43
  14. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    How many generations back can you point to your family? What can you point of theirs that truly endured?

    Their descendants.

    Have lots of kids, folks! We’re going to need them!

    • #44
  15. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Complain, complain, complain…those restauranteurs…always complaining. And don’t even get me started on all the small business owners that went out of business. They all just need to lighten up and be happier…apparently.

    Hmm, I reread Bethany’s post and don’t see where she says nobody has a right to complain.

    Bethany Mandel: But there’s a subsection of folks who haven’t really had a hard year, but who spend the bulk of their time complaining about it. They don’t know anyone close to them who have gotten sick or died (of anything), they haven’t lost any income; their lives are largely unaffected outside of missed vacations. And yet, 2020 has been the worst year of their lives, and they do nothing but tell you about it on the Internet.

    She’s clearly talking about people who haven’t really been harmed but want to put themselves in the spotlight.

    So, let me get this straight. Bethany has decided to focus criticism – or feel-good advice – on an undefinable subset of people complaining about how terrible 2020 has been because she occasionally sees them whining on Twitter or Facebook or perhaps even Ricochet (probably not Ricochet – since she hardly ever engages with the membership here). Are we talking thousands of people she encounters on these social media sites…or hundreds…or four or five Twitter subscribers? My sense is that it’s closer to the latter figure.

    I just find the pop-psychology pablum of the post to be a bit much when Americans, even if they haven’t been directly affected by some of the worst incidents of 2020, can see plainly how other Americans have been affected – with the loss of businesses, loss of jobs, teen suicides, lockdown arrests when hardened criminals are released from jails and prisons, compelled mask-wearing not based on empirical science but simply some health advisor’s gut feeling, businesses looted, vandalized or burned to the ground on the pretext of racial justice, the elderly not being able to see their children or grandchildren, oh, and let’s not forget an election so rampant with fraud that it was clearly stolen no matter what the MSM or even certain GOP politicians say and an election awarded to a vile human being who promotes the murder of the unborn and who ought to be in prison for his decades history of graft. You want a more extensive rant? I can oblige.

    Just how sub of a subset are these folks that Bethany feels compelled to offer up such profound advice as “Fake it until you make it”? Did Oprah purchase Ricochet?

    • #45
  16. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment): The difference between this bad year and other bad years is that in other bad years you could at least seek the comfort of friends and family.

    In 2020 we are denied simple human contact.

    That’s why this year sucks so much.

    You may die lonely. You may never make friends again. Your only company may be your laptop and your government-provided sex doll.

    Wait, . . . is that part of the stimulus package?

    No, it’s part of the stimulate package.

    • #46
  17. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    I heartily endorse the sentiment expressed in this tweet:

    • #47
  18. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    I heartily endorse the sentiment expressed in this tweet:

    Oxygen deprivation anyone?

    • #48
  19. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    I heartily endorse the sentiment expressed in this tweet:

    I understand that healthcare workers are on the front lines, but some of them seem to be enjoying the adulation a little too much. If I see one more video of dancing healthcare workers (wearing masks, naturally) I’m going to reach through this computer screen and strangle them all.

    Also, the worst of the Karens have been those who start out their scoldings with “I’m a frontline worker, so you’d better listen to what I say!”

    • #49
  20. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):
    You may never accomplish anything. Your life might amount to nothing. You’ll never know what it’s like to love or be loved, to raise a family, to build something and then pass it on to a new generation. But cheer up! At the end of it all, if you’ve maintained the requisite chipper attitude and recited the requisite prayers, you can get stoned with Jesus! You, too, can melt into the all-encompassing world-mind of perfect perfection and have your individuality melt away!

    You honestly think this is Christianity?

    When the only piece of advice a Christian can offer is, “Pray more; God will take care of everything, and everything that happens will happen exactly as He wants it to happen; and besides, the things of this world don’t matter anyway,” then, yes, Christianity starts sounding like an ex post facto rationalization of impotence. (I’m not accusing you of this. But it’s the most common attitude within the Christian world, even among priests and other well-catechized people.)

    What do I want? I want Christians — and non-Christians, too — to fight for their culture and norms, and not to roll over, like Stoics, and let the waves of wokeness and lockdowns and mask love wash over them.

    • #50
  21. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    What do I want? I want Christians — and non-Christians, too — to fight for their culture and norms, and not to roll over, like Stoics David French, and let the waves of wokeness and lockdowns and mask love wash over them.

    FTFY.

    • #51
  22. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    I heartily endorse the sentiment expressed in this tweet:

    I understand that healthcare workers are on the front lines, but some of them seem to be enjoying the adulation a little too much. If I see one more video of dancing healthcare workers (wearing masks, naturally) I’m going to reach through this computer screen and strangle them all.

    Also, the worst of the Karens have been those who start out their scoldings with “I’m a frontline worker, so you’d better listen to what I say!”

    “Don’t believe your own press”. Teachers made that mistake and it hasn’t bolstered their reputation much. 

    • #52
  23. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):
    You may never accomplish anything. Your life might amount to nothing. You’ll never know what it’s like to love or be loved, to raise a family, to build something and then pass it on to a new generation. But cheer up! At the end of it all, if you’ve maintained the requisite chipper attitude and recited the requisite prayers, you can get stoned with Jesus! You, too, can melt into the all-encompassing world-mind of perfect perfection and have your individuality melt away!

    You honestly think this is Christianity?

    When the only piece of advice a Christian can offer is, “Pray more; God will take care of everything, and everything that happens will happen exactly as He wants it to happen; and besides, the things of this world don’t matter anyway,” then, yes, Christianity starts sounding like an ex post facto rationalization of impotence. (I’m not accusing you of this. But it’s the most common attitude within the Christian world, even among priests and other well-catechized people.)

    What do I want? I want Christians — and non-Christians, too — to fight for their culture and norms, and not to roll over, like Stoics, and let the waves of wokeness and lockdowns and mask love wash over them.

    There’s fighting and there’s fightin’.  But how does one fight, exactly?  Internet griping?  Meme wars?  “Owning the libtards with sick social media burns?”  Fanning culture war flames?  Push for a new civil war where we’ll separate the “true” Americans from the rest?

    Or does one actually try to live one’s life morally, being a sane and loving presence to one and all, resisting and subverting immoral authority where necessary, or entering and trying to influence the culture where possible too?  

    We are where we are, not simply because people didn’t “fight”, but also because people have either rolled over for therapeutic deism and so stood for nothing but the glorified Self, or else fought too hard for purity of principle using evangelistic browbeatings for their particular ideologies, and so elevated their groups and tribes as their gods, declaring others enemies.

    So again I ask, how do you propose to fight?  And what do you hope to accomplish?  Are you out to persuade others and find commonalities with them, or are you out to somehow seek total victory?

    • #53
  24. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Annefy (View Comment):

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    I heartily endorse the sentiment expressed in this tweet:

    I understand that healthcare workers are on the front lines, but some of them seem to be enjoying the adulation a little too much. If I see one more video of dancing healthcare workers (wearing masks, naturally) I’m going to reach through this computer screen and strangle them all.

    Also, the worst of the Karens have been those who start out their scoldings with “I’m a frontline worker, so you’d better listen to what I say!”

    “Don’t believe your own press”. Teachers made that mistake and it hasn’t bolstered their reputation much.

    Hah. I remember during all the Act 10 protests in 2011, all these teachers left their classrooms to go marching around the state Capitol complaining about how they deserved all the amazing benefits they got as public-sector workers because they’re TEACHERS! Some of them even took their students down to the Capitol to protest. They were surprised to discover that many of the citizens weren’t too impressed with them. “How did we suddenly become the bad guys?” they wondered.

    • #54
  25. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):
    “How did we suddenly become the bad guys?” they wondered.

    Ooh! Ooh! Teacher, I know! I know! By being the bad guys.

    • #55
  26. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Many of the doctors and nurses in my life are acting like they’re race horses that must be protected and coddled at all costs. My husband’s doctor hasn’t been to the office since March and does everything via FaceTime as he’s 60 (younger than JY, who has gone to work every day) I think telehealth is marvelous, but seeing JY trying to show the doc his range of motion on his new knee would have been hilarious under different circumstances 

    I’ve got a doc appt coming up and filled out all the paperwork as usual and returned it via email. Doc called via FaceTime – asked me all the questions that I’d already answered and charged me a $95 co pay for the 7 minute convo. 

    I was listening to Alex Berenson on Rogan yesterday and he spoke of a treatment that would have potentially put healthcare workers at risk – so it was rejected in favor of ventilators, which killed many. (I need to go back and relisten)

    I am beyond disgusted with many and am grateful I enjoy good health, which makes the “healthcare system” a small part of my life. 

    • #56
  27. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    I heartily endorse the sentiment expressed in this tweet:

    I understand that healthcare workers are on the front lines, but some of them seem to be enjoying the adulation a little too much. If I see one more video of dancing healthcare workers (wearing masks, naturally) I’m going to reach through this computer screen and strangle them all.

    Also, the worst of the Karens have been those who start out their scoldings with “I’m a frontline worker, so you’d better listen to what I say!”

    “Don’t believe your own press”. Teachers made that mistake and it hasn’t bolstered their reputation much.

    Hah. I remember during all the Act 10 protests in 2011, all these teachers were marching around the state Capitol complaining about how they deserved all the amazing benefits they got as public-sector workers because they’re TEACHERS! Some of them even took their students down to the Capitol to protest. They were surprised to discover that many of the citizens weren’t too impressed with them. “How did we suddenly become the bad guys?” they wondered.

    Based on a long-term non-scientific sample of my facebook and twitter feeds, Teachers and Nurses as a group are the most self-pitying people on the face of the earth.

    • #57
  28. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    SkipSul (View Comment): So again I ask, how do you propose to fight? And what do you hope to accomplish? Are you out to persuade others and find commonalities with them, or are you out to somehow seek total victory?

    Ideally, I’d take option one (fighting). But since option one is unattainable these days, and since all the things that support option one are bleepity-bleep impossible to find — which was the point of my original comment — I’ve settled for option two (fightin’ — i.e., griping online). Having gone so far down that road, I’m not sure I can turn back.

    • #58
  29. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Miffed White Male (View Comment): Based on a long-term non-scientific sample of my facebook and twitter feeds, Teachers and Nurses as a group are the most self-pitying people on the face of the earth.

    Teachers have to spend all day around students. Then again, students have to spend all day around teachers . . . and each other. Everybody loses.

    • #59
  30. MDHahn Coolidge
    MDHahn
    @MDHahn

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):
    You may never accomplish anything. Your life might amount to nothing. You’ll never know what it’s like to love or be loved, to raise a family, to build something and then pass it on to a new generation. But cheer up! At the end of it all, if you’ve maintained the requisite chipper attitude and recited the requisite prayers, you can get stoned with Jesus! You, too, can melt into the all-encompassing world-mind of perfect perfection and have your individuality melt away!

    You honestly think this is Christianity?

    When the only piece of advice a Christian can offer is, “Pray more; God will take care of everything, and everything that happens will happen exactly as He wants it to happen; and besides, the things of this world don’t matter anyway,” then, yes, Christianity starts sounding like an ex post facto rationalization of impotence. (I’m not accusing you of this. But it’s the most common attitude within the Christian world, even among priests and other well-catechized people.)

    What do I want? I want Christians — and non-Christians, too — to fight for their culture and norms, and not to roll over, like Stoics, and let the waves of wokeness and lockdowns and mask love wash over them.

    The Gospels and Paul’s letters quite clearly teach Christians that earthly possessions and wealth are not what matters in the end. The chief commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. Christians know that their reward is in Heaven with God. Therefore, to say to someone to put their trust in the Lord is to say to that person “do not give up hope!” 

    This is not a rationalization for impotence. It is an acknowledgement that we live in a fallen world, filled with imperfect humans. It is also a recognition that God’s reward is eternal, not earthly. God’s kingdom belongs to all who believe, not just to the rich and powerful. That is why heresies like the prosperity gospel are so corrosive. Christians are called to live a life to God’s glory and trust His plan. That doesn’t mean we don’t have free will, nor does it mean we should be passive. We should still live lives that reflect well on ourselves and the Church.

    But what should we fight for? Another central part of Christianity is that Jesus refused an earthly kingdom. We are called to live according to just laws. That does not mean that we should violate our faith, but that also does not mean that we should impose our particular views through government force. Instead, we should live out the Commandments and act as examples to others. We lead by example, not by fighting.

    • #60
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