22. Refrain from idle complaints

"Tranquility, joy, and happiness are, to a large extent, gifts we give to ourselves.  They are the result of our smart choices in the way we think and the way we act."  --Dr. Forni



  1. Pledge to stop complaining for 21 days.
  2. Make a list of the things you complain about.  Try not to complain about one of these things for a week.  When you have learned to stop complaining about the first thing, move on to the next thing.  Repeat until you have conquered your list.
  3. Place a jar in your home or classroom.  Each time someone makes an idle complaint, they must put a quarter in the jar.
  4. Play Blob Tag.  In a large space, choose two pairs of students.  Each pair should hold hands to become a "blob".  The remaining students should move around the room and try to avoid the blobs.  If a blob touches a student, that student must join hands and become part of the blob.  The game continues until all students are part of a blob.  Now, think of the blob as someone with a bad attitude or an idle complainer.  When the blob touched other students, they became part of the blob.  Does the same happen when an idle complainer touches your life?  (Great Group Games)

Discussion questions:

  1. How can refraining from idle complaints be considered "civil"?
  2. What does having a positive attitude relate to complaining?
  3. How does "Refrain from Idle Complaints" relate to "Don't speak ill"?
  4. How does refraining from idle complaints help us to be more civil?