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Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:45 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers through their individual e-mails and thanks for listening!

One Big Whine

“My little body is aweary of this great world.” Portia blurts that out early on in “The Merchant of Venice,” and it’s one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes. Being something of a blurter myself, I empathize with both her method of expression and her sentiment. Frankly, I’m disgusted with having to be in this mood though. Here it is spring; life should be full of beauty and promise, but my mood is one of a great big whine: a spring-slump.

In general, I’m opposed to whining, in both myself and others—well, especially in others. In our family, we are more from the “Pull up your socks and get on with it” school. Don’t just whine; do something.  But I seem to be in a season of being tired of having to do something. By this age, which certainly is greater than I ever thought that I would achieve, I just want to rest on my laurels and not have to be so challenged anymore. Remember, I’m the person who had the career goal of lying on the bed reading books.

Society, or at least what passes for such, is the cause of my mood. Sadly, it’s not genteel society, but SOCIETY writ large: the whole mass of us, that is at the root of my whininess. You look around and all of us are at one another’s throats due to difference of opinion regarding how the societal ship should be being steered. But it’s not just major things causing frustration. Even the tiniest little thing is a struggle. Just attempt to converse with someone via telephone about yet the smallest thing and first you have to fight your way over the hurdle created by the dreaded phone tree. Alternatively, if you are fortunate enough actually to reach another human, one of my favorite non-thinking questions may well greet you. “Would you mind if I place you on hold?” What!? What an idiotic question: nobody wants to be on hold! We just want to resolve our issue NOW! See what I mean?  It just begs your little body to be aweary. And so far, I’m just trotting out the inconsequential stuff.

The really important, big stuff: politics, pro-choice versus anti-choice, gun control, climate change, healthcare, hunger, and immigration just are a few topics where most of us have dug in and are intractable. Not since World War I, a senseless exercise if ever there was one—an entire generation of young men killed because of a domino set-up of self-serving national treaties to protect a broken-down aristocracy—have we been so entrenched. Just like then, here we are within shouting distance, taking aim at one another, going for each other’s throats. It’s a set-up for a mood that doesn’t breed much civility, and after a while, it starts to suck the life out of you and leave you a puddle of whining weariness. Then, in the downward spiral, it becomes even more difficult to motivate yourself to pull up your socks and get on with much of anything except maybe a stellar career in whining. No wonder that it has been suggested that we are a society of the self-absorbed.

Now, here’s the part where, were I someone of great knowledge and diplomacy, I would trot out a suggestion to make this rotten state of affairs go away. Sadly, not gonna’ happen. The best that this blurter has got is to suggest that you think about this problem and maybe come up with something to get the correction-mechanism in gear. I would be so grateful to have nothing more to whine about. Then in this promising almost-springtime, when I saw the return of civility and genteel society, I could say “Thank you,” stop whining, and quietly—and un-“awearily,”—go back to lying on the bed reading books. What a relief!

As a closer, this is Jeanette Saddler Taylor whining  for dollars during this WVPE membership campaign. Call now with your gift. Pleeeeeze . . .

Jeanette Saddler Taylor lives and writes in South Bend where she is retired, but is active in several community organizations.
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