A Complaint-Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted

Will Bowen, Author . Doubleday $18.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-385-52458-2

Brown is a minister with a very simple message: quit complaining. If you do, you'll be happier and healthier. Hence his Complaint-Free World challenge; the goal is to stop for 21 consecutive days. Why 21? That's how long it takes to break a habit, according to Bowen, who has appeared on Oprah and The Today Show discussing his challenge. And while there's no scientific proof his program works, he includes testimonials from people who've stopped their chronic carping and now lead more positive lives. As for issues that might make you complain about not complaining—e.g., how do you enact social change without first finding fault with the present situation?—Bowen points to Martin Luther King Jr. and his I-have-a-dream speech. He “did not stand on the steps of the Lincoln memorial and say, “Isn't it terrible how we're being treated....” Not to be critical (“Criticism is complaining with a sharp edge”) but how could Bowen forget King's great rousing line that day: “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.' ” (Oct. 16)

Reviewed on: 08/27/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
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