I am convinced that kids have much to teach us! For the last 2 years my wife and I have been teaching Sunday School. We started with the K class and have advanced with the same group of kids as they move up each year. It is safe to say that we now have great relationships with our 7 year olds and have grown accustomed to their individual habits. There are 2 personality types that we have identified that I want to use as the basis for this post.

  • The Complainers
  • The Content(ers) ***yeah, not sure if this is actually a word but I’m rollin’ with it anyway!

We have both noticed that there are 2 kids in particular that exhibit these qualities and have an overwhelming influence on the class as whole. These 2 kids are the vocal leaders and the others seem to yield to their dominance. It happens without fail, each time we enter into discussion these 2 kids are the first to raise their hands. My wife and I try to exercise parity by giving the others a chance to respond, but more often than not…to no avail.

“The Complainer” seeks to identify the problem with every scenario we present. “The Complainer” often uses the phrase IT’S NOT FAIR…
“The Content(er)” on the other hand seems to possess the “what if” mentality and consistently frames her responses to ensure a best case outcome.

I realize that both kids have been influenced by their immediate surroundings. My wife and I agree that their nature is a product of their upbringing. Nonetheless, when each kid brings their influence into the Sunday School classroom and insist on leading the majority of our discussions, the others kids become affected and contagion sets in.

Now, in this particular example we can agree that children are highly impressionable. Fortunately there is still much hope for “The Complainer” as he is 7 years old and has his entire life ahead. (And for the record, “The Content(er)” is an absolute joy and we hope that she never loses her wonder.)

When its comes to your current position in life, which of these children do most closely identify with? Remember that both complaining and contentment are contagious. If you are a complainer and carry the “why me” mentality who do you know that more closely resembles “The Content(er)? Complainers are victims and are always looking for the easy way out. Complainers are the accusers, the naysayers and the non-action takers. Anyone can complain and unfortunately thanks to the world we live in, these complainers have more influence than they should. If you see yourself as a complainer, please consider a change of environment. You could ask a new co-worker to lunch, perhaps take your dog to the park rather than walking the same old path; or even volunteer. Anything you can do to meet new people will make it much more likely that you will find a “Content(er.)”

And for all those “Content(res)”out there, let me encourage you to keep it up. Bravo and thank you!