Saturday, March 8, 2008

Complaint free world -- my journey


About a week or so ago I got the book A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen. I started reading it soon after and found it interesting. I haven't finished the book just yet (though I've gotten pretty well along in it).

It's written by a minister and the basic raison d'etre of the book is to try to get people to stop complaining. It was quite interesting for me to see this book advertised in the catalog of one of my book clubs (I use the catalogs as an idea list for books to get from the library) because my sister had just said to me that I complain a lot (did she too much??? I don't recall..... ). I thought about that and sort of agreed. I guess I was "born to kvetch" (to use the title of another book I found in another catalog of one of my book clubs). A few friends and I even have an internet place to go to kvetch.

[For those of you who don't know what kvetch is, I got the definition from Webster's on line site: kvetch Listen to the pronunciation of 1kvetch Listen to the pronunciation of kvetch Pronunciation:\ˈkvech, ˈkfech\ Function: intransitive verb Etymology: Yiddish kvetshn, literally, to squeeze, pinch, from Middle High German quetschen Date: circa 1952 : to complain habitually : gripe ]

In any case, the book mentions a site where you can get the bracelet. "The bracelet" is a purple gumi (I wish I could come up with a good English word for gumi) "Live Strong" type of bracelet with the "Complaint Free World" logo on it. The purpose of the bracelet is to help you get to the initial goal of 21 days without complaining, criticizing or gossiping. You do this by moving the bracelet from one wrist to another whenever you complain. This makes you conscious of each complaint and makes you less and less likely to complain.

I ordered two of the bracelets on their web site (the cost for two initial bracelets is $.75 to cover shipping -- if you want a larger quantity, it's $5 for 5). I should be getting it soon. So I guess I'm kind of treating the period before I get the bracelet as a "free complaint zone" -- I'm not trying to complain (actually, I'm becoming more aware of each complaint), but I haven't done what he said to do -- coming up with a substitute for the bracelet (like a rubber band on your wrist or a paper clip in your pocket) that you can move when you complain.

So I got my "last licks" on Lashon Hara (Gossiping) which might not actually be L"H because it seems to be common knowledge (ok, a tenuous leniency at best) last night (I know, L"H on Shabbat is double-trouble).

The only things that I still have to deal with are:
1) How do you write articles without complaining?
2) How do I rephrase things to be positive but still express what I need to get across?

I have been trying to glean this information from the book, but I haven't yet found a way of doing this. As a born complainer, I was never taught how to not be negative and I'm trying to figure this one out. So, if you have any ideas, drop me a "line"

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