Saturday, October 19, 2013

Count Your Blessings

One of the lessons that Reggie has learned while bumbling about on this planet is that it is useful to pause every once in a while and take stock of one's life.  He believes spending a portion of such time doing so focusing on the positive aspects of one's existence is time well spent.

It certainly helps him put it all in perspective when he does so . . .

Too often Reggie comes across people, some of whom he knows and some of whom he overhears in public, who spend an inordinate amount of their time complaining.  And these are people who appear to be financially stable, in reasonable health, and speaking with what appear to be friends or loved ones.  It's all too much for them, or its just not good enough for them—it's such a trial, or such a disappointment.

Poor things.

Reggie believes they'd be much happier and more content if they stopped moaning and think for a moment about what the alternatives might be.  The less-appealing ones, that is . . .
  • So the waiter forgot that you ordered your spinach steamed and not sautéed.  Send the offending vegetable back to the kitchen to be replaced, but don't make a federal case out of it, please.  Be grateful that you are being waited on and can afford to eat a meal in a restaurant.  
  • So your maid didn't show up today, and you have been inconvenienced by it.  Did you ever stop to think that she may have problems of her own that just might need tending to unexpectedly every now and then?  Be grateful you're not the one cleaning your own house, and that you have someone to help you.
  • So you had to fly in coach on the overnight flight to London instead of in business or first class.  Don't spend the flight endlessly pushing the call button and demanding special service from the flight attendant, acting like you're too good for coach (even though that's all you've paid for).  Be grateful that you are able to visit one of the most magnificent cities on the planet.
Reggie understands that there are circumstances when it is appropriate to be disappointed in something or by someone—life doesn't always work out the way one hopes or expects it to.  And yes, he appreciates that there are many people who truly struggle to make it through the day in one piece, keeping it all together.  He isn't writing about such situations or such people, Dear Reader.  No, he is writing this post about those of us (and note he say "us" and not "you") who sometimes find ourselves complaining or being frustrated by something or someone when it isn't really merited, and where it doesn't reflect all that well on those of us who are doing the complaining.

I acknowledge there are times when rendering a complaint is justified, and I've certainly relished the pleasure of joining in a good "bitch-fest" like the best of them.  However, I make a concerted effort not to be a gratuitous complainer, which—I admit—sometimes takes more willpower than I wish were the case.  That doesn't mean Reggie is a saccharine Pollyanna who has nothing but nice things to say (for those of you who know me, you'll agree that I'm not afraid to state my contrarian views on controversial subjects).  I do strive, however, to choose what I complain about carefully, and to do so sparingly.

Now, some of you may be wondering, "Reggie, are you saying that because there are people in the world who are worse off than I am that my disappointments aren't legitimate?" No, Dear Reader, Reggie is not saying that at all.  He believes that no one's feelings are either more or less legitimate than anothers' of differing circumstances.  Reggie is saying, though, that one should stop and think before opening one's mouth to complain and ponder whether such a complaint is either merited or whether the manner in which it is delivered reflects well upon one's self.  He believes that most often it isn't, and most often it doesn't.

On the other hand, Dear Reader, all of us respond well to appreciation and gratitude.  I know I do.  I think we'd all be better off—and a lot happier—if we made a concerted effort to spend less time complaining and more time being grateful, and counting our blessings instead of our disappointments.

And that, Dear Reader, is a Reggie Rule.
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
                                          -- Irving Berlin
Image courtesy of eBay 


  1. R.D. I want to thank you for this post. The poster was removed with a change in management it read Thank you for coming to work today you make a difference, some may think it sappy but the "interns" casual" employees today have never seen it, however I often remark to them ,,, thank you for coming to work.... " I mean it! words of appreciation from mismanagement er management are perhaps few and far between perhaps words of encouragement from a co-worker could help and save the Enterprise? here's to you kid.

  2. I read something the other week that put service and good will into perspective. It was a story about a couple at a fast food joint who knocked over a big drink. Instead of picking it up they let it drain out and changed tables. The man said loudly to his female companion, "who cares, that's what they're paid for." A man at the next table went to the workers there, asked for a mop and cleaned up the mess without saying a word to the culprits. They slipped out of the restaurant in shame and the rest of the place cheered.

    People who wait or clean or serve you in any way should be treated with respect. Think before you complain or act boorishly. With few exceptions, the financial difference between "us" and "them" is really quite small in the scheme of things. Count your blessings and be gracious.

  3. Hello Reggie, For some reason, people often think I am complaining when I am not, as when I try to be observant or analytical. For example, if I were looking at a house like Darlington, and noted, "Look at the imperfections in the glass", I would probably be told, "Why do you have to criticize everything?"

  4. Good lesson for a Sunday mirning. Thank you. xo

  5. Reggie, there are some people, it would seem, that are absolutely determined not to be happy, no matter what. It is sad.

  6. "Right on!" As some young people used to say 35-40 years ago.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich von B.

  7. A way to live life; being grateful and appreciative. I often complement a salesperson or server. It doesn't matter on what, the color of their sweater, their hair style. See the smile and it will make you feel great!

    2013 Designer & Artists Series

  8. Unquestionably. I've often noted how people's senses dull, and they start to niggle about flaws in what looks like perfection to everyone else.

    It's as though luxury is an addiction, and we have to keep upping our consumption. Best thing to do is taper off, for a while, and come back with renewed gratitude.

    Reggie, few people are as good at heart as you.

  9. Reggie you've put it all perfectly and I've been thinking about this subject quite often lately. Thank you for this post. When I was a girl counting one's blessings was something that was mentioned often, not so much anymore. Are we becoming spoiled as a society? I hope not but I fear so.
    You are a good dear heart!!

  10. I love when Bing sings that sone to Clooney in "White Christmas"

  11. I once heard a sermon many years ago and it has stuck with me- it was being grateful for what one has- it said "Do you offer prayers of thanks or are they prayers of petition"

  12. I agree with Reggie's every point. I'm saving this post for when I have a case of the"poor me's"....have a great week.

  13. Without being soppy about it, I find myself so much happier now I make a concerted effort to (as the Arlen/Mercer song puts it) accentuate the positive. I have much to be grateful for, not least of which is my siblings.
    XOX, Hermione

  14. Yes! Two of my mother's favorite sayings are "count your blessings" and "there, but for the grace of God, go I". Thank you for another reminder to feel how lucky I am.

  15. Dearest,

    I count my blessings every time I go to an airport and look all around me Just when I think I'm getting old and fat and whatever, I look at the people in the TSA line and count my blessings. Ugh!

  16. Thanks RD at Architecture Tours were are urn lovers 24/7. Here are some Reid and Shutze urns in Atlanta

  17. I love this. Whenever I'm in a bad mood, I try to think of good things that I should be thankful for. It definitely helps me gain perspective on a bad day.

  18. You're right endless litany of first world problems makes one feel worse than better

  19. Amen, Reggie!

    April, Just Verte

  20. So happy to read this Reggie, as I have been surrounded by a litany of complainers as of late and they all have such wonderful's starting to drive me a bit batty and if I'm not careful, I'll be turning into a complainer myself because I have to complain about them! Oh dear...I think it's happening, time to start counting my blessings.
    xo J~

  21. Indeed. Reminds me of Noel Coward's great song Louisa. Check it out at this site:

  22. Bravo! I live in an area infested with complainers. I should print this off and do a direct mail piece to my present city.

  23. Speaking of blessings, how is your precious Basil?

  24. I love this! We live in Westchester and whenever someone honks their horn (or gives us the finger!) for not driving quickly enough on a Saturday morning my husband and I laugh and say, "Oh, it must be so stressful to be running late to Starbucks, in a luxury SUV, in one of the wealthiest towns in America."


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