By Kelly Carr
I laughed aloud when I heard the radio interview with Jasper Griegson, dubbed as “Britain’s Greatest Complainer.” Here I was, thinking about articles to help prevent complaining, and this guy was making a living at it.
Jasper described his methods to Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson, saying that he does not complain about things immediately. He controls his temper by waiting until he gets home, thinking on a subject, and writing out his concern by hand. His letters are creative to receive attention; once he wrote a complaint in poetry form.
Jasper spent years as a complaint columnist for the British paper The Daily Express and wrote over 5,000 complaint letters on behalf of readers’ problems. He finds a catharsis in complaining and thinks that too many people in his home country bottle up their feelings. He said Americans, on the other hand, are good complainers. Jasper got his start when he saw an American man get compensation after complaining about a flight delay. Jasper followed the man’s lead and got hooked on the results.
Jasper’s methods seem a bit more thought out and balanced than the “grumbling” we read about from the Israelites in the desert. It had me thinking: there’s a fine line between expressing concern, speaking up for what’s right, and downright whining over every miniscule inconvenience. The difference I see, as in most situations, is in the heart.
When something is a problem, do I speak up with the desire to find a solution? Or do I constantly whine so people will feel sorry for me? Do I respond to an issue after trying to see all sides? Or do I critique maliciously out of the desire to seek revenge? My motivation matters, and it will determine whether I use biblical approaches to negative situations or spew unhelpful complaints. Each time I have a choice. Here’s praying I make the right ones.