Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 10, 2007
A good friend of mine told me of a minister that has a new concept to help the attitude of his congregation. He has started the purple bracelet campaign. He has given each member of his congregation a purple bracelet for them to wear. They were to wear it on either wrist then when they complained - gossiped - or criticized they were to switch the bracelet to the other wrist. Saying naughty words count, too. There are couple of rules- One is that if you choose to wear the bracelet and you see someone complain, criticize, etc… who is also wearing a bracelet you must first remove your bracelet and put it on your other wrist before you point out their mistake. The object is to go 21 continuous days without complaining. Why 21 days you ask- Some studies have shown that if you do or not do something for 21 continuous days it becomes a habit. This has really gotten me to think. What would I talk about if I did not complain, gossip, criticize or use sarcasm? What does that leave me? Does that mean that I must try to have happy thoughts? Is that possible? Mom read the story of “Pollyanna” to me when I was little. Pollyanna was an orphaned girl that had a bad life but she always found the good in everything. I found her quite annoying, but not without merit.
This idea has been catching on all over the world. You can order as many bracelets as you want from this Kansas City church. They will send you the bracelets at no cost to you. They do accept a free-will donation to help offset the cost if you want too. The minister who started this madness said it took him 3 months before he made his 21-day mission. So he understands that this is a difficult request..
I was telling Jim about this concept. Since Jim is not talkative, he said that he would just not talk for 21 days. He could do it, too. Anybody who drank a 24-pack of Pepsi a day and could decide one day that he was not going to drink any type carbonated drinks for a year and do it, could easily not talk for 21 days, except for things that pertain to work. I can tell you that talking is not one of Jim’s favorite things to do. We can drive for hours and he will not say a word, he is not mad, just has nothing to talk about. Some of you may think that it is because he cannot get a word in edge-wise- but believe it or not I do run out of things to say after a couple of hours.
Can you imagine any work place where there is no complaining or gossiping? Having coffee at your favorite place and not talking about the newest news or complaining about the weather? Is this possible? Some of us might wear the blisters on our wrists by changing the bracelet back and forth or maybe complain twice and the bracelet could stay in place. Maybe instead of talking about the things that we cannot change maybe we should think of the people who have done nice things for us. I know that I have an endless list of kindnesses people have shown me. Sometimes I lose sight of that. They are so many people who work behind the scenes and we fail to give them a simple 'thank-you'. Instead we, sometimes not meaning too, let them feel that they have not done enough. We forget to appreciate and somehow we are quick to find fault. Why is that? It is just one of the devils best tools.
It would be great to have any work environment where there is no negativity all. I do not care where you work some kind of negative vibe exists. When Jim’s mom went to have her cancer treated the hospital doctors told her that negative thoughts will only hindered her recovery. All of the staff was always positive and worked at keeping the patients in a cheerful humor.
I have been doing some serious soul searching and found that I find humor in the negative thinking. So if this catches on everywhere- will the humor be gone as well? Am I too old to change? You know “you cannot teach an old dog new tricks”.
Even though this may seem like a new idea, it goes back to the old saying, “If you cannot say anything good do not say it at all”.