Reverend Hopes Bracelet Will Help Complainers Quit

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An (unscientific) list of some of the most talented whiners of all time. Look and then complain about how silly it is and wrong we are. hide caption

View Talented Complainers
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The Rev. Bill Bowen

The Rev. Will Bowen wears the purple bracelet to symbolize his commitment not to gossip or complain. Every week, he distributes 25,000 more to people around the globe. Coutesy of Rev. Will Bowen hide caption

itoggle caption Coutesy of Rev. Will Bowen

Could you give up complaining and gossiping for three weeks? The Rev. Will Bowen says it's worth trying, and he has launched an innovative campaign to convince people around the world.

Bowen distributes purple bracelets that people can wear to remind themselves not to gossip or complain. If the person messes up and says something nasty, he or she is supposed to move it from one wrist to the other.

Since he first gave out 250 wristbands at his church in Kansas, the anti-complaining movement has become a worldwide phenomenon. He now ships out 25,000 bands every week.

"The thing is, by expressing those things, you aren't going to make them any better," he tells Madeleine Brand. "You are actually looking for a way to connect with people."

There are more positive ways to find a connection, he says.

Brand is not totally convinced. Kvetching is part of the Jewish culture, she (a Jew herself) insists.

Michael Wex, author of Born to Kvetch, offers his own positive spin on complaining. "If you don't find fault, nothing will ever change," he says.

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