Don’t Complain

Maya Angelou is a famed American poet and author. From the age of three to seven she was raised by her grandmother, a period of calm and stability in what would be a very traumatic childhood.

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Grandma ran a general store and one thing that riled her was people complaining. They’d complain about the heat, the cold and a myriad of other issues Maya’s grandmother thought trivial.  Whenever that occurred Maya’s grandmother would wait til the complainer left the store, call Maya over to her and say,  “Sister, did you hear what Brother So-and-So or Sister Much-to-Do complained about? Sister, there are people who went to sleep all over the world last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. And those dead folks would give anything, anything at all for just five minutes of this weather that person was grumbling about.

So you watch yourself about complaining, Sister. What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”

Source: reported in Maya Angelou, Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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