TRIBUTE: Ballina's mayor, Cr David Wright, has funded and organised for this bench built at Shelly Beach in honour of shark attack victim Tadashi Nakahara and those involved with his attempted rescue.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate
TRIBUTE: Ballina's mayor, Cr David Wright, has funded and organised for this bench built at Shelly Beach in honour of shark attack victim Tadashi Nakahara and those involved with his attempted rescue.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate Graham Broadhead

Nothing like a good whinge

THE upcoming State and Federal elections bring out all sorts of interesting promises, arguments and events. The pollies and the parties are out and about, talking at every opportunity about what they have to offer if they get in and how terrible everyone else is.

We do love to have a good complain, a whinge or a bit of blaming and election times are excellent times to do this. It gets a little tiring but every so often there's a gem of a moment:

Reporter to Mayor of Ballina: How do you feel about politicians coming to Ballina and promising money, lots of money? Does that kind of pork-barrelling worry you?

Mayor of Ballina: If they want to throw money at Ballina, then I say bring it on!

Reporter: Oh. (Disappointedly - not the complaint about politicians she was looking for).

But what if you consciously gave up the habit of complaining?

What if you stopped yourself every time you felt like having a good moan?

You might be surprised how deeply embedded it is in your daily life. (Think weather/parking/bills /co-workers fridge habits/young people's social skill/texting/other people's driving behaviours/the inappropriate use of apostrophes...).

To test myself I made a conscious decision to not moan about anything or join in a complaint fest, no matter how inviting, for at least one day.

It was harder than I thought.

First-up I was delayed by roadworks and the lights seemed stuck on red when there were clearly no other cars on the road; a Learner Driver was very cautious at a roundabout and then there was a queue at the shops while someone fumbled with their wallet.

To add to the challenge, I watched a debate between State party leaders.

Turns out I am not as calm and poised as I fancy myself to be. I can complain and whinge with the best of them.

Then I heard about a woman who was a serial complainer.

She made a career of it.

She would write to businesses and complain about their service, with a strong sense of righteousness (and a less transparent goal of receiving free stuff).

My friend told me how she wrote to a chicken company a strongly worded letter about how the chicken she had bought did not have giblets inside, how standards had slipped, and the product was not what was promised.

The next week she received in the post a parcel containing 50 giblets.

Now, every time I feel like having a moan, I think about those giblets arriving in the mail.