Nothing to Whine About

ClustrMaps archives annually. This map shows a year’s worth of traffic to Haulin’ ‘Net.

Although my new job as a high school administrator prevents me from writing as much as I’d like to and I used to, I would never complain about it. In fact, the increased and time-consuming connections with students, teachers, parents, and the broad community has been invigorating.

Yet, in this swath of humanity, complaints abound. And it is part of my job to receive them.

From The Man Watching, I read of UNC womens soccer coach Anson Dorrance and his position on whining. He shares the following quote with his players. It comes from Man’s Search for Meaning (Frankl):

If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity–even under the most difficult circumstances–to add a deeper meaning to his life.

Dorrance sees whining as one of the most destructive aspects of athletics. Whining is degrading to the whiner and to the people who tolerate it.

To emphasize his stance on whiners to his team, Dorrance adds this gem from George Bernard Shaw:

Be a force of fortune instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

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2 Responses to Nothing to Whine About

  1. james says:

    Mr. Dorrance is not a good example to use, because he “whinned in the press “for ten years that he had done nothing wrong. However, he cost his school over $450,000 paid to two of his ex-players, had to apologize to them and all his players and finally forced his school to review and revise their sexual harassment policy. As a school administrator you may have used a better example compared to someone who obviously enjoyed discussing his student athletes sexual lives.

  2. ed ladenburger says:

    james,
    While it is often difficult to separate a person’s behavior from their ideals/ideas, perhaps we can do this for Mr. Dorrance. In other words, I find that it is not that much of a stretch to accept the wisdom of Dorrance’s comments concerning whining, without endorsing the entirety of his behavior. Not many folks fully “walk the talk”. It would be a shame to reject words of wisdom just because they come from someone whose behavior was not exemplary.
    As educators, let us evaluate and critique ideas, while encouraging, edifying and loving people — warts and all.

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