Grumbly Mumbly and Simply Bubbly – as their names, so their natures – stark opposites!
Grumbly Mumbly (let’s call her GM) always wore a frown on her face. No matter how well cooked any dish was, there wasn’t enough salt to her taste! If the salt was just appropriate, the veggies or the meat in the dish weren’t tender enough! The maid scrubbed the floors of her house clean every day; still, GM didn’t find them sparkly enough and showered a mouthful on her! Her ten-year-old daughter stood first in the class with a remark of “Excellent” superscribed on the Report Card; still, GM’s brows twitched seeing a shortage of four marks from the aggregate and all along the way back she fussed at the deliberate evil schemes of the teachers! On one occasion GM went shopping for herself. Unfortunately, the store did not have the required size of the outfit that she had selected. Not only did she blacklist the store for herself, but also did not forget to give a fuming suggestion to the store Manager to shift the store to some nondescript town or village! Her husband gifted her a bunch of her favourite red roses on their wedding anniversary. She immediately inspected the bouquet and started kvetching about his lack of taste to have chosen pale half-blossomed partially dried roses!
No one ever liked being with GM, though she was skilled at many things. She greeted each smile with a scowl. Her constant mumblings sent all tumbling away from her. Her blood pressure remained high at all times. Migraine was her companion of many years. Stomach ulcers frequented her. Gradually, a host of psychosomatic ailments befriended her. GM was miserable! Nothing that anyone did or said ever satisfied her.
Simply Bubbly (let’s call her SB) moved into Grumbly Mumbly’s neighbourhood one fine afternoon. Every other neighbour cautioned her against GM’s scoffs and sneers. “All the best, if you ever crossroads with her”, they said. SB just laughed it away. “There isn’t a person who can rob your cheer unless you decide to trade it for a world load of fear”, she quipped. SB found joy in all things and people around her, even in the most challenging ones. Her bubbly nature was infectious. A couple of times, GM and SB did crossways. Each look of grimace that GM threw was met with a beaming smile from SB. When GM broke her ankle, none went to her aid. “She would find fault with anything that we do”, they said. Simply Bubbly was the only one who went up to GM’s doorsteps each day without fail. Day after day she went for the three whole months that GM was confined indoors. “Wait and watch till she’s back on her feet”, said all.
The day GM was to take her first steps outside, all peeped from their windows. There was GM leaning on to SB trying to take stable steps in the midst of the busy traffic! And what was that – a smile on GM’s face! That was her first smile that anyone had ever seen!
The next day, at a thanksgiving get-together, Grumbly Mumbly seemed all quiet. She didn’t mind the loud chatter or the endless clatter of dishes. The music which would have either been too loud or too low on previous occasions didn’t bother her much. Seated at the centre wearing a faint smile, she said, “I’ve learnt to let go – to let go of the imperfections that drain my energy, and to appreciate all things around me. My quest for improvement would never end, but the snoots would never come back.”
Profusely thanking Simply Bubbly for helping her deal with her insecurities and anxieties, GM declared that she would be working towards a makeover. Gradually, GM’s complaints gave way to appreciations and her frowns into charming smiles. Her distasteful mouthfuls were replaced by words of encouragement. The world which she had been seeing with dark shades became visible with bright brilliant sunshine.
Often, it’s tough to drive home rational thinking to the Grumbly Mumblys around us. They seem to be perfectionists, but fail to accept the fact that their own personality needs tweaking. They seem to have justified arguments for all their grumblings. Leave the hardcore GMs. What about you and me? How many times have we grumbled over situations, people, our own selves? The scorching sun makes us grumble. A heavy downpour early in the morning makes us grumble. If the water is too hot for a bath, we start muttering. If the electricity supply goes off while we are in the middle of an assignment we start fuming. If a guest arrives too early, we grumble. If the guest arrives much later than the scheduled time of meeting we grumble.
While it is necessary to be disciplined and maintain certain principles in life, it is all the more essential to harbour the virtue of contentment, all the while acknowledging the transient nature of the world around us. Discontent leads to grumbling. Constant grumbling emits the foul smell of ones personality to those around and proves to be a powerful repellent. Its wise to choose not to be a Grumbly Mumbly.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” – THE BIBLE
“Be grateful and you won’t grumble. Grumble and you won’t be grateful.” – Billy Graham