“I’m tired abeg, I’m losing my mind in this lockdown. I need a change of environment. This COVID should do and come and be going please”
I remember vividly where I was when I said these words. It was during the first month of the lockdown , in the kitchen, serving myself a sumptuous dish while streaming Johnathan McReynold’s People album on my phone. I murmured as I put my food in the microwave to warm, but my murmuring was cut short by Emmanuel.
Emmanuel didn’t even lift his eyes to look at me when he responded to my whining, saying “You have access to uninterrupted power supply, unlimited internet and food and you are losing your mind. What will the people who have none of these things but still must stay locked down say? “
He threw these words so casually like they weren’t heavy. But they were.
I went quiet. It felt like I had just gotten a serious scolding.
If that was God pulling me out of the pit of ingratitude and entitlement, it worked. It worked so well because I immediately found three things to be thankful for which made the ONE THING I was complaining about look irrelevant.
Now this is the case as I have come to realize; The things that aren’t working, those things we complain about, they are valid and the things that are working; those things we can be thankful for are valid as well.
So, I came up with a gratitude exercise.
In this exercise, we will be required to be completely honest. Can you do that?
We won’t deny that somethings aren’t working, we also won’t deny that somethings are. Now what you want to do is place them side by side in a tabular form on a clean white paper and label them ‘Complain’ (on the left) and ‘Give thanks’ (on the right) . Under ‘complain’, we will write down something that we want to complain about and under ‘give thanks’ we write something that we are thankful for. For every item under ‘give thanks’ we are to cancel one item from ‘complain’ . PLEASE NOTE: Life cancels everything under complain. So, if you have life under your ‘give thanks’ it invariably means you have nothing under ‘complain’ .
Do the exercise and I’d like to hear what you have left to complain about. I’ll wait.