You’ll find no complaints here about, well … anything
December 13, 2007
The 200 purple wristbands that Gil Linsley ordered haven’t arrived after nearly three weeks, but don’t expect him to complain about it.
He’s trying to live a complaint-free life.
His wife, Gail, and his entire congregation of more than 50 people at the Spiritual Living Center are trying the same thing. The idea is that if they can go for 21 days without complaining or gossiping, they’ll have formed a habit that can change their lives.
“You’ll be a happier person,” he said.
At least that’s the theory. Linsley hasn’t gotten there yet.
But if enough people succeed, who knows, maybe they can help change the world.
Recommended Stories For You
They’re finding it’s not easy.
“Most people discover they complain a lot,” he said.
In fact, Linsley said it takes the average person more than four months to get to 21 consecutive complaint-free days.
“The first couple of days I didn’t go to 21 hours,” he said.
The purple wrist bands are part of the project. Every time you catch yourself (or someone else catches you) complaining, you’re supposed to switch the band to the other wrist and start over again. It acts as a reminder.
All of this is detailed in the book “A Complaint Free World,” written by Will Bowen, and if you want to learn more, you can find it at the Web site http://www.complaintfreeworld.org
Linsley and the church he and his wife lead isn’t affiliated with the book or author, but when they read the book they knew they’d found a practical idea that mirrored their philosophy.
You don’t necessarily have to use a purple band, either. You can use a rock that you switch from one pocket to another every time you complain, for example. Or even just a normal rubber band.
Linsley said he’s managed to find a purple band to use until the shipment arrives.
“We got it off spinach or something at the grocery store,” he said.
Linsley, who’s 79, believes that positive energy has made him more spry and has had an amazing effect on his general well-being.
Personally, I’m not sure I’m ready to buy the notion that this is going to change the world … editors are innate skeptics, after all. But I can certainly see the benefits. In fact, if the movement catches on, I’ll suddenly have several extra hours in my work week, based on the volume of calls I take about everything from Hillary Clinton to incorrect listings in the TV book.
I like those callers, though (most of them, anyhow), and, on deeper reflection, the bulk of them wouldn’t fall into the category of complaining. They’re just sharing information that displeases them, and often in very polite ways (except perhaps for the member of a local congregation who used several cuss words last week to describe his displeasure that a story about his church wasn’t on the front page).
I’m willing to take a shot at being more positive, although I think I’m generally a happy person already. And I’m not a Raiders or 49ers fan, so I could easily avoid sports-related complaints.
Unfortunately, I drive. Unfortunately, I own two TVs. Unfortunately, an election year is around the corner. It’ll be a challenge.
Linsley’s church is located at 675 Fairview, Suite 218, in Carson City and they meet at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday. He describes it as a church of religious science in the Christian tradition.
And as for his progress on being complaint-free, he’s back to day 1, something that happened as he was explaining to me how his church has been in Carson City for 25 years at the same location.
“You’d think we’d own the building by now,” he said.
That was a complaint, in case you didn’t catch it. Obviously, he’s setting his standards high.
If he wants to hear what a complaint really sounds like, I think I can find the phone number for that guy from the church whose story didn’t make the front page.