Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stop yer kvetchin'...

I saw something clever on TV tonight and started thinking about it.

The pastor of a church in Kansas City, MO, came up with the idea of passing out rubber bracelets for his congregation to remind them to stop complaining about petty things.

No kvetching for 21 days?

Now keep in mind that I am talking about kvetching, complaining, bitching... mindless, petty bitching ~ not talking or discussing important topics like the state of the world or something really big happening in our lives.

I'm talking about the nattering we do as a matter of course throughout the day. Our coffee's too cold or too hot. Someone didn't take off fast enough when the light turns green. Someone didn't say good morning quickly enough. It's too hot. It's too cold. It's raining. It's sunny. You know what I mean.


Apparently, it's struck a chord with so many people that the church has had over one million orders in the mail from those who want the bracelets.

I understand the logic behind what he's doing. So much of the energy we expend each day includes that kind of internal or external talk. It becomes a way of processing experience to accentuate the negative.

Not sure if I would be able to entirely stop complaining. While I'm not much of a complainer by nature, I do my share.

I leave it to your judgement. Do you think you could make a commitment to stop complaining for 21 days?

It's late here. Time to go turn on the radio and listen to some good alien talk. I just wish Coast to Coast started earlier. 10.00 PM is rather late to ...





flutter said...

You know I just hate when people think they can tell you what to....um, yeah sorry.

I love this, actually. I think it's a really good thing to let got of the small stuff

Thailand Gal said...

I'm with you on that! Doesn't it just make you want to scream when some self-righteous prig comes along and implies that our very legitimate commentary ...

Oh, Sorry. See? Now I'm doing it. LOL

I agree that it's a good idea to use .. um.. mindful speech. On the other hand, a little bit of venting now and then is good for the soul.



Meredith said...

Why 21 days and what's the point of those bracelets (they're everywhere for everything thing) besides a self absorbed (EGO) need to let everyone know how good you are?
I like to think, "Sure no problem I can do this." But then I remember all the petty grievances I had today at work and at home and I'd be lucky to make it through 21 hours. 21 minutes... 21 seconds.... 21 steps... You get my drift?
But... that being said, in theory, what a lovely idea.
In fact, I have no doubt that tomorrow I'll think about this whenever I'm feeling bitchy and I might (just might, mind you) curb my ire. And that small little awareness just might have a minor ripple effect within my sphere of existence.
I like that.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking a lot about Andrea's post and if I can get my brain to shut up at all. I'll try anything, although not a rubber bracelet, thanks.

QT said...

Chani, is the rubber bracelet replacing the rubber band that you were supposed to snap against your wrist to remind your self (choose one) not to smoke, drink, bite your nails, etc?

I will give it a shot, but it is going to be hard. Most of my complaining is in my own head, anyway.

Bob said...

I've been in a funk lately. Maybe this would help. I'll give it some thought - and maybe an effort?

Anonymous said...

I like the idea but don't know how well I would do in the follow through, but it's worth a shot. No pissing or moaning for three weeks, can I drink at least?

MsLittlePea said...

Sounds like a good idea. As long as I don't have to give up coffee-I'm up for anything.

Julie Pippert said...

I saw that yesterday too.

I was intrigued enough to mean to go online and learn more.

I think he was trying to distinguish between energy-sucking needless complaints and productive venting.

Thailand Gal said...

Meredith, I understand completely! It's hard to say what his motivations might be. Gimmicks work in an anti-intellectual culture so, you know...


De, wasn't that post awesome? Jeez! I have a really hard time with my own monkey-brain sometimes.


QT, my understanding is that the bracelet is supposed to change wrists each time we catch ourselves complaining.

Most of my petty complaining is in my head, too. Can't say I don't do it and it doesn't cause any serious problems so it's unlikely that I'll make any effort to stop it.

Negativity.. that's another issue! LOL


Bob, post about the things you are in a funk about. The comments and interaction are usually good for snapping out of it.

Sometimes complaining works. We can't all be blowing sunshine out our butts all the time.


Deb, I'm sure you can drink. LOL


MsPea, no giving up coffee. I can't seem to give up Diet Coke.


Julie, I agree. Constructive venting is important. It is one of the ways we make decisions about acting on something.

I know honestly.. I don't like listening to someone's petty bitching (unless it's funny) and even worse people who bid for sympathy. You know... it's just like anything else... Balance. If someone gets caught in a cycle of useless bitching, they might want to change it. Occasional snippiness is just human.





Anonymous said...

I just bought a book last night called Chocolate Cake Sutra by Geri Larkin. I was reading it at the gym this morning and near the beginning of the book she's talking about giving up complaining and how she and her daughter did it. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

Pam said...

I don't bitch a lot but doubt I could go cold turkey, usually it's out of the mouth before the brain is fully engaged. I'm going to try, though, and see what happens =)

Thailand Gal said...

Deb, I'd be curious to know what Geri Larkin has to say about it. Presumably she said it improved her outlook.

I'm all for that. Really. The only time I strongly disagree is when someone says we should just pretend suffering doesn't exist.

... which, of course, has nothing to do with pointless bitching ~ but it came to mind in relation to the book.




jen said...

i agree with the concept. but the bracelets, not so much.

label me now and lead me to the slaughterhouse. no really, i'll follow.

not that i am complaining about it.

Thailand Gal said...

Pam, it's worth trying. Mindful speech is important. As long as we don't use it as something else we're supposed to beat ourselves up about, it's probably okay. Gimmicky.. but may have some value for some.


Jen, ROTFL! Yep! Again, the lowest common denominator.


Peace, all.... complain a bit. It's good for your blood pressure. :)


heartinsanfrancisco said...

Nope. Couldn't do it.

I do try to control my inclination to complain. I was raised by complainers; it's ingrained. Still, I am aware of the negativity and I try.

But the bracelet? It wouldn't go with my Other Jewelry :) and we can't have that, can we?

Anvilcloud said...

I never thought about it until now, but I don't think I complain much. Where do I go to complain about not being a complainer?

Bones said...

I'm reading this anthology called Bread and Wine - it’s a compilation of various author’s thoughts and reflections on lent. One of the reflections talked about how Jesus himself was complaining in the garden of gethsemane the night before he was betrayed. He was complaining that all his friends had left him and that God was in the process of abandoning him. It was the only time in the Bible that Jesus is recorded to have complained. That's part of what attracts me to Christianity - the idea of a God who experienced human suffering, separation, and even complaining. As opposed to a god who hasn't. Interesting stuff, anyway.

meno said...

But those rubber bracelets cause a rash..and they itch...and i get all sweaty underneath.

Oh, sorry. :)

I liked the part of the story where when you find yourself complaining during the 21 days, then you have to start over. I think it's a good way to get a new habit started.

I would like to spend more time thinking about all the reasons i have to NOT complain.

Suzy said...

Chani, you always seem to nail something pertinent for me. I have been trying for the last hour to register for a big Quaker gathering that is happening this summer. Registration opens and then it's a mad dash -- like Filene's bargain basement -- to get the workshops you want. They want you to register on line, but the darned thing can't handle the volume of traffic (the Internets tubes must be getting clogged) and keeps crashing. I was, like, 2 clicks away from finishing my registration ... and kvetch, kvetch, kvetch. And then my queen bee daughter calls me from the Empire State Building (she's on a school trip this week) and says, "Did you register me for the workshop I wanted?" ... but my point is, your post made me realize that this too is small, and definitely not worth getting all bent out of shape over.

Lee said...

I wanted to come see you after Hearts reccommended you, but once I saw your comment about wanting to be a student of Joseph Campbells...well I knew it was kizmet. Joseph Campbell was a truly beautiful connected man. It's very, very nice to meet you.


Caro said...

I'm with Meno on this one. Though I am sure the worlsd could use some respite from all the complaining going on out there.

Thailand Gal said...

Susan, I'm completely with you on that! One of those ugly purple bracelets wouldn't go well with all my bangles. LOL


Anvil... your blog is probably the best bet. :)


Bones, I think you hit a core issue with complaining. Like anything else, once it's done too much, no one listens anymore. Saving our kvetching for the important stuff is probably a better idea.

I don't know how well that will catch on ~ but it's a good thought anyway. :)


Meno, I think the premise is the scientific study that claims a new habit is developed in 21 days. It makes some sense in that way ~ but I'm kind of torn about release v. suppression and whether we might be worse off if everyone decides complaining is unacceptable. That's me.. always looking for the slippery slope. LOL


Suzy, you must admit though.. it *is* annoying! :) It's small but it's annoying. Somehow, we need an outlet for that. I doubt there's a Boddhi tree growing in anyone's backyard at this point.

Gripe away! :)


Lee, Joseph Campbell is amazing! I have all of his stuff on CD and *still* listen to it frequently. Listening to him is like listening to pure wisdom, uncut!


Caro, I agree. We don't need to listen to all the griping. It's an energy drain when someone just gripes about absolutely nothing, most of the time.