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I Challenge You!

March 12, 2007

Chers Amis,

How is your Lenten Season going?  Has it been difficult to make your Lenten sacrifices?  Are you longing for your java or chocolate fix or is it old hat?     I have a real challenge for you that won’t be so easy, but it will have positive effects for you and your family.  Give up complaining – that includes sarcasm and gossiping for 21 days. Maybe you have heard of this as it has been sweeping through the media from the Kansas City Star to People Magazine and even the Today Show since  Rev. Will Bowen of Kansas City challenged his congregation last summer to give up complaining for 21 straight days.  He gave each member a purple bracelet to remind them of their pledge. Every time they complained, used sarcasm or kvetched they had to move the bracelet to the other wrist and start over.  Ouch! Not so easy.  His church  has been giving away the purple bracelets for free and to date, have shipped over 733,000 bracelets! Can you imagine the effect that would have?!

I counted this morning and there are 22 days remaining in Lent so a group of my friends and I are really going to try giving up complaining for 21 days. Will you join us?  Please?  I won’t complain if you say no :-, but why wouldn’t you?  If you are game (and brave) leave a comment and say yes!   I will be posting a little side bar on how well it is going chez moi.  How humbling is that!  Come on, try it with me! I’m not waiting to receive my bracelet, today is day 1.

— Marjorie

P.S.   Here are the rules:

1. Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist

2. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing (it’s ok, everyone does) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.

3. If you hear someone else who is wearing a bracelet complain, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first!

4. Stay with it. It may take many months but when you reach 21 days you will find that your entire life is happier, more loving, more positive and more abundant.

Links: Are ya kidding me?! No complaining for 21 days – Today Show –

Click here to for bracelet order form.

According to Helen Gray of the Kansas City Star:

It’s a process

The Rev. Will Bowen has identified several stages in the process of becoming complaint-free:

•It starts with being conscious that you complain.

“We all do it, and when we notice it, we realize that most of us complain a lot. So it can be surprising and challenging to realize how much we complain.”

•Next is what Bowen calls the “darn it” stage.

“You say something and then realize, ‘darn-it!’ that was a complaint, and I’d have to move my bracelet. But the ‘darn its’ got further and further apart. This is a big step, because before that you didn’t even catch yourself.”

•Third is to catch yourself before you say it.

“That’s when you get to the ‘great silence.’ You have very little to talk about, because you were going to start complaining. I started ending sentences with, ‘I’m not going to move my bracelet,’ and then just be quiet.”

•Finally, it slowly becomes a habit not to complain.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2007 2:36 pm

    My daughter and I have been working on the complaining issue all Lent. But no sarcasm?? I don’t know if I could do that!

  2. March 12, 2007 8:37 pm

    What an amazing idea. I bet this is totally transforming to people. I am game! No bracelt yet, but I will try it in some way form or fashion!

  3. March 15, 2007 10:59 pm

    I gave up soda and complaining at the beginning of Lent. I haven’t had a bit of soda. I wish I could say I haven’t been complaining. I actually feel like my complaining may have increased. You’ve inspired me to start over now and try again.

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