Doesn’t it say in the gemara, דאגה בלב איש ישחנה לאחרים – that if a man has some worry in his heart, he speak it out to others? So why did you say before that by complaining you make things worse?
There’s a big difference between complaining and speaking to other people. If you’ll complain to other people, all you’re doing is putting a load on that person too. If you’ll tell them, “I had a bad day today. It was dark and rainy and everything I tried didn’t work out,” so all you’re doing is making that person also lose heart. You’re dispiriting him.
But if there’s some problem that’s pressing on you – not a complaint, not a matter of being dissatisfied – but there’s a problem, and you discuss the problem with somebody else, somebody who is capable, then that person might point out to you ways and means that will help you easily solve or dodge that problem. That’s what it means.
Now, the truth is that even if you complain to somebody else, it could be that he could turn around your words and change your thoughts so that you should stop complaining, but the ma’amer דאגה בלב איש doesn’t refer to that. It’s not talking about complaining – it refers to problems that you have.
Now that’s an important point. Many people go around laden down with worries, loaded down with problems which really are nothing. They make mountains out of molehills and someone has to guide them.
Here’s a problem for instance: “My mother-in-law said this and this to me!” And the daughter-in-law is boiling now – she’d like to murder her mother-in-law. She can’t rest! Actually, it’s nothing at all. The mother-in-law wasn’t thinking – she had no brains anyhow; she wasn’t thinking what she said. The next minute she forgot what she said. But the daughter-in-law has no brains either and therefore she took the words to heart and now she’s boiling with indignation and it ruins her life. A lot of people are like that.
But if she’ll go to somebody – somebody wise – and she asks, “What should I do with my mother-in-law? She’s a big problem!” so that wise person says, “What did your mother-in-law do to you? Did she tell her son to divorce you?”
“What did she do?”
“She said something about my cooking.”
“So what?! What about it?!”
ישחנה means that you should speak it out with somebody else and that person may show you a different perspective and you’ll see that it’s nothing at all. Or there are other ways, other advice he might give you. “If your mother-in-law is calling you up on the telephone and breaking your heart with her complaints, see that the telephone is always off the hook so she gets a busy signal.” Whatever it is, another person can give you advice.
TAPE # 503 (April 1984)