Monday, March 12, 2007


There are few things in this world that annoy me than pointless shows of do-goodery (its a word, got a problem with it?). You know what I mean, good intentions that have been funneled into projects that really do no good whatsoever. Like school children gathering stuffed animals to send to children in Africa, or helping the blind celebrate arbor day by drawing them pictures of trees. Activities that could do some good if those involved just did a little more thinking and put in a little more effort.

Now, I am by no means saying that I am Mother Teresa. I am a big believer in checkbook charity. Every so often Ryan says we should do some community service as a couple and I send 20 bucks to the food bank to
get out of it. But I am also not holding myself up as some pillar of goodness and calling television stations to come do a story about me knitting sweaters for homeless dogs. Yes, that really happens.

The latest piece of pointless claptrap meant to save the world to catch my attention is the "complaint free world campaign." It was started by a pastor in Missouri who decided too much complaining is the root of the problems in the world. Yeah, that's right, the problems in the world have nothing to do with a widening disparity between the haves and have nots, an ongoing war, dishonesty in government or the growing apathy of the public who now care more about Anna Nicole Smith than violence in the Sudan, it all comes down to people complaining. If everyone would just shut up, join hands and sing "Kumbaya" everything would instantly get better and the hole in the ozone would close.

As if this wasn't enough, the pastor's crusade comes with accessories -- specifically a purple rubber bracelet (I will save my diatribe on the whole pointless bracelet thing for another day). You are supposed to switch the bracelet from one arm to the other every time you catch yourself complaining. Then, if you last 21 days you get a "certificate of happiness" -- and a lobotomy.

The pastor has been all over talking about his mission of mindlessness, on NBC, on CNN, even in my personal bible, People magazine. Every time he talks about how the purple bracelets are brining happiness to people not only in Missouri, but all over the planet. And every time I end up throwing something.

It isn't that he doesn't have good intentions. He does, but his intentions have led to a pointless gimmick rather than to real action. How about instead of just not complaining having people examine their complaints and then do something about it? Don't like high gas prices? Ride a bike. Always worrying about money? Make a budget. Don't like your mother-in-law? Hire a hitman. Just do something other than posture.

If that were to happen, if someone were to start a feel good movement with a real purpose and real results, I would stop all my complaining. Yes, that might mean a vow of silence, but I think it would be worth it.


Anonymous said...

Libby, you're supposed to submit to your defeats, don't you know anything? Just be a battery for the machines and live in a constant dream state and everything will be fine. That's why God invented religion... and marijuana.

Amanda said...

I say skip the purple bracelet & go straight for the lobotomy. It makes the whole Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan/Anna Nicole Smith culture that much more palatable.