Darn it. I want to express my reservations about movements like Kansas City minister Will Bowen's A Complaint-Free World, but to do so would be complaining and that's what the movement is trying to stop. Since I haven't received my complaint-free bracelet yet .... or the book ... or the t-shirt .... I guess I'm still in the clear though.
The basic concept is hard to argue with:
"Your thoughts create your world and your words indicate your thoughts. When you eliminate complaining from your life will you enjoy happier relationships, better health and greater prosperity. This simple program helps you set a trap for your own negativity and redirect your mind towards a more positive and rewarding life."So can you go 21 days without complaining? To help you with the effort, you buy a purple complaint-free wristband (they are only a buck) to wear. If you voice a complaint you place it on your other arm and reset your 21-day clock. And joila, "transform your words and transform your life."
Despite what I think is an interesting and worthwhile concept, they've wrapped it in the standard issue speaker circuit business enterprise .... and it is a huge one. It works under the best internet model: offer a few items at very low cost and then let volume generate major money. The site does say though that "all donations as well as proceeds from products are used to provide complaint free bracelets for those who cannot afford them as well as for schools, churches, hospitals, prisons, drug rehab centers and other nonprofits and deserving organizations." Call me a tad skeptical.
But still, I struggle with the cheesy speaker photo and the fact they are selling bumper stickers. It's all from the stock template of "How to Turn Your Idea Into a Movement, Make Money, and Get Worldwide Attention." (Contact me if you'd like to order that bracelet or t-shirt).
I'm all for eliminating unnecessary negative energy in your life and the lives of others and generally try to model that belief in my own actions and words. But complaints raise issues and concerns and often lead to desirable change. Remember the popular book, A Complaint is a Gift?
Needless whining or venting? Slap a bracelet on the person.
Insightful negative observation? Listen closely and see if you can unearth a potential innovation or positive change waiting to be heard and discovered.