I had read about this idea on a few blogs last week and decided that it would be a good project for our family to take on. Little did I know that it was part of some larger, international movement!
I'm talking about not complaining for the duration of Lent. We've all picked out our own "bracelets" to wear and the idea is that every time you complain, you have to switch the bracelet to the other wrist. Of course we had to set down some rules like:
~ What exactly is a complaint? Any negative response to a request or command, any whining, any going on about something you don't like...
~ Do facial expressions count? yes
~ Do thoughts count? Sure, but let's work on outward complaints first
~ Can I point out someone else's complaint? Well, this was a tough one...if you complain about someone else complaining, then both parties have to switch their bracelets. If you catch someone complaining, you can kindly point to your wrist to let them know they were just complaining and they have to switch their bracelet.
I have to say that at least for the two days we've done it, everyone is cooperating very cheerfully. It's a good, competitive thing, too. Everyone is trying to see how long into the day they can go before they find themselves complaining.
The bigger movement of this is for people to wear their bracelets and keep this up until they've gone 21 days without complaining. We'll see how successful we are at the end of six weeks!
Last February, I banned complaining in our house and it went very well. It was so nice to have such a pleasant atmosphere in the house for that month. However, once March came, everyone fell back into their old ways. Maybe by the end of six weeks it will be more ingrained in our minds not to complain so it will last longer. Maybe we could shoot for no complaining through the entire Easter Season! Well, I'd better not get so far ahead of myself.
I read somewhere that the season of Lent offers us extra graces. I think we will all need them in order to keep this up as cheerfully as we've begun.