Log In

Reset Password
Columnists View from the Center Bear Smart The Travel Troubleshooter Dear Abby Student Aide Of Sound Mind Others Say Powerful solutions You are What You Eat Out Standing in the Fields What's up in Durango Skies Watch Yore Topknot Local First RE-4 Education Update MECC Cares for kids

No more whining. Who’s in?

There was one hard and fast rule in my household growing up: No whining.

What exactly is whining? Miriam Webster tells us that it is a raised, nasal, unpleasant tone of voice that generally is used to complain in a “childish or petulant manner.” It was and is, a difficult rule for a child to follow. Apparently, it is also a difficult rule for adults to follow because every time I turn on the radio or TV, somebody is whining about something.

Whining is, in fact, an equal opportunity transgression used by all elements of our current culture.

Whining coming from the left centers on people who are “disproportionately affected” in a bad way for some reason or other. These whiners generally come from different ethnic and economic groups who feel they have been left out of the privileged class and are, therefore, due some compensation of some sort from somebody.

Whining coming from the right centers on people who are losing their privileges to hordes of people who are different in some way. Many white males fall into this category as they feel themselves stripped of privilege after privilege by women and minorities. But it can also include the economically blessed who feel they are being required to share their wealth with others less worthy.

Of course, both sides whine about the media. Media on the left is too woke, while media on the right spouts nothing but lies.

The media also whines a good deal about the stridency of current politics and the lack of respect shown to the press who aren’t recognized for their poorly compensated efforts at providing us with a plethora of unbiased and sometimes useless information supported by incessant advertisements and in-your-face advice.

The list goes on: Old people whine about young people who show no respect; young people whine about old people who ruined their world; and our ex-president whines about everything.

Whining generally accomplishes nothing other than allowing the whiner to feel victimized, oppressed and persecuted. It also generally succeeds at irritating the person or persons who must hear it.

Human cultures are not perfect. Every human being has felt loss, fear and helplessness at some time or other, and sharing these experiences with others provides a good deal of mental health medicine. But whining is not that kind of sharing.

Now, I understand that some of you may consider these thoughts to be a whine. Good point! I have a friend who tells her whining 4-year-old, “Use your big girl voice.” We should all try to discuss our problems with our adult voices, not seeking undue attention and sympathy, but seeking a resolution to the problems that seem to be endemic to the human experience.

Our world is full of violence, hate, poverty and fear, but whining solves none of those problems. If instead we focus on speaking with respect, empathy and civility, and keep our discourse rational and constructive, the world will be a better place. Let’s all resolve to stop whining.

Katherine Burgess is a retired Pueblo Community College instructor of history, ethics and humanities.