On Sunday August 29, 2021, at his Angelus message, from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said “complaining and blaming others is a waste of time; the way to defeat evil is to conquer it first within our own hearts.” He said “we often think that evil comes mainly from outside: from other people’s conduct, from those who think badly of us, from society. How often we blame others, society, the world, for everything that happens to us! It is always the fault of ‘others’: it is the fault of people, of those who govern, of misfortune, and so on.” “It is easy to spend time assigning blame, but spending time blaming others is wasting time.” “We become angry, bitter and keep God away from our heart.” “Complaining poisons, it leads you to anger, to resentment and to sadness, that of the heart, which closes the door to God.” “Let us ask in prayer for the grace not to waste time polluting the world with complaints, because this is not Christian. Jesus instead invites us to look at life and the world starting from our heart.” Francis urged people to ask the Lord to free them from blaming others and he recalled a message from the Fathers of the Church, who said the first step on the path to holiness is to ‘blame yourself.’ “ Pope Francis asked “how many of us, during the day, in a moment during the day or a moment during the week, are able to blame ourselves within?” “Try to do it, it will do you good. It does me good, when I manage to do so, but it is good for us, it is good for everyone.” He concluded by saying “may the Virgin Mary, who changed history through the purity of her heart, help us to purify our own, by overcoming first and foremost the vice of blaming others and complaining about everything.” Robin Kowalski, a professor of psychology at Clemson University says constant complaining can be an easy way to frustrate our confidantes, but there is research that shows it can also be a useful tool in bonding and helping us process emotions like stress and frustration. But also bonds built over mutual dissatisfaction can also prove brittle once one person’s problem has been resolved.

Some quotes:
If you always see your glass as half empty instead of half full, pour it into a smaller glass and stop complaining.

Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any better.

People complain about the bad things that happen to them that they don’t deserve, but they seldom mention the good about what they have done to deserve those things. – Cormac McCarthy

I think a compliment ought always to precede a complaint, where one is possible, because it softens resentment and insures for the complaint a courteous and gentle reception. – Mark Twain

As you waste your breath complaining about life, someone out there is breathing their last. Appreciate what you have.