Last year I realized I had spent my entire life of summers complaining about the heat. We all do it. Casual conversations with store clerks, waitresses and friends are riddled with short comments about how hot it is. I decided to make a promise to myself that I wasn't going to utter any more negative comments about the rising mercury. It took discipline and intention, but I had a lot of success. When I'd slip and the H word would bounce out of my mouth I'd quickly change the subject.
Guess what happened? I actually didn't notice the debilitating heat quite so much. My mind was learning a new way of thinking; I was retraining my thoughts to move away from the heat so that my conversation didn't drift there.
This can be applied to any issue we tend to be bothered by and give undue negative attention to.
Do you think people don't know it's hot? You're not enlightening them. Do you think they are encouraged that you hate it too? It probably doesn't ease the discomfort.
But if you smile and talk about pleasant things you might divert their attention to a more cheerful topic and get a smile in return. Our words wield great power and they are typically generated by our attitudes and thoughts. If we purposely take our thoughts captive ("Put on the mind of Christ") and don't spew out the junk that sometimes surfaces, we can be a vessel of kindness and positive influence. Negative attitudes and complaints are contagious but encouragement is even more so.
Philippians 4:8 tell us, "Whatever is true, noble, right pure, lovely and admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." ...and we usually speak about what we're thinking, so this way of thinking will edify others.
If not the heat, what thought do you sometimes dredge up and share with others? Are you willing to do the work and replace that with a new way of thinking and interacting? The investment will be worth it.