Today's complaint about the world around us addresses...complaints about the world around us.
Does it seem ironic to you that I'm complaining about the complainers on a blog that exists specifically as a forum for posts like It's Just Too Damned Easy to Get Married in this Country, Rape Trials and Other Horrific Abominations, and the ever-popular Corporate America Doesn't Care if You Die? If so, you're in good company. If, that is, you consider me good company.
The thing is, I've lately found myself troubled by the themes running through a lot of conversations and online discussions. I was first bothered by a Catholic discussion group where I began to notice that there wasn't much talk about Catholicism at all, but instead a lot of talk about the dangers and/or evils of evangelicals. And then I happened across a couple of threads in another discussion forum--one about as different from the first as you could imagine in terms of both participants and subject matter--that were all about "why do people insist one...?" and "doesn't it bug you when...?"
And suddenly, it bugged me when people sat around and talked about what everyone else could be doing better. I don't usually wax religious on this blog--I have a Catholic blog for that--but I have a little verse about removing the plank in your own eye bouncing around in my head right now.
Am I talking about this in the wrong place? Well, maybe. But the thing is, it's not just about how we all have our flaws and none of us are in a position to judge. It's not just about how critiquing other people is in itself an activity worth of criticism. It's the futility of it all. In every moment, we can sit and bitch or we can act. And sure, there's a lot to complain about in the world, but every moment that we're sitting around complaining and commiserating and wondering why other people always (fill in your own pet peeve here) is a moment we haven't used to make something better somewhere.
My daughter and I learned in church on Sunday that you can build a house for a homeless family in the third world for $2600. Think about that. Take a family that is living in the streets and give it a home for $2600.
Do you have $2600 on hand to send off to Food for the Poor? Well, I don't either. And I don't have a heck of a lot of time on my hands to come up with it, either. But I do think that if I find a free hour here or there, it might better be used thinking up some creative ways to raise $2600 and implementing them than sitting around talking about why everyone isn't doing it.