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Like my friend Kathy, I’ve given up complaining for Lent. We’re both finding it harder than the fasting from chocolate we did as children. Not that we now want to complain more than we wanted chocolate as kids, it’s just that complaints have a way of slipping out. That’s one of the reasons we’re aiming to abstain. It helps us become aware of how often we whine, and becoming aware is the first step toward change.


A Complaint Free World Bracelet Have you ever heard of the Complaint Free World project? In 2006, a man named Will Bowen challenged fellow church members to give up complaining for 21 days straight. His idea caught on and spread throughout the world. Since the project started, more than 10 million people have received the purple bracelet that is used as a tool in the project.


Here’s a related idea: What if, besides working toward a complaint-free world, we create a compliment-rich world? 


Imagine often saying things like: Great job! Nice try. I admire your creativity. I appreciate you. That was kind of you. I commend you. You inspire me. Best wishes for your dream. Good luck. Yay you!


What if we said caring things like that to one another as we went about each day? Imagine how much happier, joyful, and loving we would feel. We’d probably be healthier and more successful too.


I have the feeling that, if we did this, we’d also do less complaining without even trying.


Both Kathy and I have decided to extend our complaint fast beyond Easter (especially since neither of us has yet had a fully complaint-free day!) and to be compliment generous. The two practices seem to go hand-in-hand.


Might you consider trying either one or both practices? Thank you for reading this, whatever your response. I appreciate your visit here.


If you would like to know more about the official Complaint Free World project and how the bracelet tool works, visit for details.


Wishing you the best of life’s gifts today and every day!

  • Elaine Wilson:

    Dear Charlene,
    I love your choice for Lent. I cannot honestly think of a more perfect thing to give up than complaining. What joy this world would have if people acknowledged every act of kindness, everyone who did their best or just for trying. You always seem to bring out the most wonderful ideas for living life to the fullest. I know you and Kathy will do well not only through Lent but from this point on. Thank you for the website for the bracelet and what one man has done to make life a little nicer.

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