Complainers, take note: This one is all for you

James Berklan
James Berklan

As a long-term caregiver, you get yelled at, told off, put down and dumped on regularly — and that's during good weeks. 

Uncle Sam and other regulatory entities want more from you yet don't want to pay for the increased demands. Residents' families usually don't appreciate the sensitive, hands-on care you provide.

Yet you're supposed to take it, and not complain.

It's actually not a bad idea, as far as life-philosophy goes. That's why a Chicago-area man, Joe Kirin, devised the “No Complaints Day Challenge.” He pondered: What would it be like if people didn't complain for a day? 

More than 5,000 individuals had officially signed up for the Aug. 12 challenge by the time it rolled around, according to its Facebook page. Most comments from participants were introspective and tinged with self-castigation for having to wonder if they could go a day without complaining.

Perfect, as far as Kirin is concerned.

His “game,” as he gently calls it, is not an all-or-nothing gambit. If someone slips and complains, he or she has full license to take as many do-overs as needed. It's all about erasing negativity. 

 “What if complaining wasn't an option? What would people do? What would they say?” Kirin poses.

Kirin's mother, Marion Kirin, died in April after facing multiple health challenges with courage and grace. Aug. 12 would have been her 82nd birthday.

“What really inspired me about my mother is while she was sick in January, February, March … in all that time, all the setbacks, all the disappointments, no matter what the doctor threw at her, she never complained about it,” Kirin explains. 

Thanks to Facebook, people from Australia to Iran took part in the inaugural No Complaints challenge. 

This movement surely must expand beyond a once-every-365-day event. For a society that becomes giddy  each week for “Throwback Thursdays,” it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch.

“I think people might even discover that what they were complaining about they no longer have to complain about,” Kirin says. “It could wind up being a less stressful day for people.

“Or you might even do some thinking and think, ‘Wow, I could actually solve that problem.' It's really a day of discovery for yourself.”

A worthy goal, no matter what your line of work or station in life is.


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