Sol visits Abe and sees he’s got a new dog.
“So what kind of dog is this?” asks Sol.
“It’s a Jewish dog. His name is Irving,” says Abe.
“Watch this,” continues to Abe as he points to the dog.
Irving walks slowly to the door, then turns around and says, “So why are you talking to me like that? You always order me around like I’m nothing! Then you make me sleep on the floor, with my arthritis… You give me this farkakta food with all the salt and fat, and you tell me it’s a special diet… It tastes like dreck! YOU should eat it yourself!…
“And do you ever take me for a decent walk?
“NO, it’s out of the house, a few steps, and right back home.
“Maybe if I could stretch out a little, the sciatica wouldn’t kill me so much!”
Sol is amazed and tells Abe how remarkable this dog is, to which Abe answers: “I don’t know, I think this dog has a hearing problem. I said fetch, and he thought I said kvetch.”
(joke from Ari Shishler)
There are two types of complaint. The complaint that is intended to create a solution to one’s problems and the complaint that is not. The first type can include “venting” if necessary – and it can certainly include stating an unfairness to someone who is able to correct the situation. These are positive complaints and they have a purpose.
The other type of complaining has no beneficial purpose, it’s just criticizing the situation for the sake of criticizing; and scientists nowadays tell us that complaining without a purpose – ie. just to complain – puts us in a negative frame of mind which makes our situation worse.
Rav Avigdor Miller z’l says further that if someone chooses to go around with negative feelings and complaints, then Hashem will give him something to complain about – because every path that a person chooses for himself, Hashem helps him along the way – so if someone is complaining and constantly negative, then Hashem will give him things to complain about, lo aleinu!
Finally, the most important thing to consider when about to lodge a complaint is that everything that happens to us is because Hashem wants it to happen to us and it is the best thing that can happen to us in this situation. The Sefer HaChinuch explains that even if someone lifts a hand against us, it’s only because Hashem allows him to.
Bearing this in mind, our complaints – certainly for the sake of complaining – are not warranted.
If we remember these things, no doubt, our lives will be enriched.