Become the Solution to Your Complaint

I’m in the market for a new car, but I learned that if I get a hybrid because I think it’s the right way to go for fuel economy and the environment, the state of Wisconsin is going to tax me more.

There’s a $75 annual surcharge for hybrid electric vehicles, implemented under the state’s 2019-20 biennial budget, and $100 for electric vehicles.

This isn’t a lot of money, I admit. But it’s a principle thing. Why would the state discourage me from doing the right thing for the environment?

While I’m at it, why can’t farmers afford to grow organic produce while still charging a price that customers can afford to pay? And since when is it impossible to open a bag of chips cleanly without using scissors?

There’s always something to complain about, large or small, founded or unfounded, even when our Department of Defense isn’t being gutted, we have a smooth transition of presidential power, the Supreme Court isn’t deciding whether it will leave me without health insurance by revoking the Affordable Care Act, and COVID-19 isn’t running riot through our country, state and county.

This is all a bit much to take. But take it we do. We each have our ways – some healthier than others – to live daily with the contradictions between our expectations and our experiences.
Each of us has life lessons that taught us how to do this. One of mine came about a decade ago, after I moved to southwest Minnesota for an editor position at a newspaper and learned there were no yoga classes within 50 miles. This is no small thing for me. Yoga keeps me balanced, sane, strong, flexible. 

I kept my practice going at home while I pestered the manager of my gym to find a yoga instructor. After a year of my never-ending requests, this manager finally said to me, “Why don’t you just do it?” I stammered. It appeared I didn’t want to solve the problem; I only wanted to complain about it. That didn’t seem like a very noble way to live. 

It took that awakening for me to invest my time and money into earning my yoga certification. I then shared my practice with that community and several others in the surrounding area. For the next 10 years, I taught at least two yoga classes a week.

The circumstances of my life at that time introduced a path I had never looked for or noticed or thought I’d take. The gratification I received and gave, and the friendships I made, changed my life forever.

Desperate for connection during this time of social isolation and a bit of normalcy at almost all levels, we lob our complaints like so many grenades. I know that pulling that pin is the easiest thing in the world to do. What’s really hard is swallowing the complaints and allowing solutions to grow.