“Complaint Free Wednesday” Update

Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver has introduced H. Con. Res. 155 into the U.S. House of Representatives to proclaim the day before Thanksgiving “Complaint Free Wednesday” and some in the media are lashing out calling the Resolution frivolous and a waste of congressional resources.


A portion of the resolution reads:


“Whereas the average person complains approximately 15 to 30 times per day, resulting in roughly 4,500,000,000 complaints spoken every day in the United States;

Whereas complaining keeps people focused on current problems stultifying their innate abilities to seek and create positive, harmonious solutions”

This resolution, which costs the taxpayers nothing but inspires them to look for solutions to challenges rather than to gripe about them can be likened to the Great American Smokeout which for decades has encouraged people to try, for just one day, to forego their life-threatening addiction to nicotine. H. Res. Con. 155 invites people to, for just the day prior to Thanksgiving, try and not complain.


For nearly a century, myriad studies have shown that complaining is detrimental to a person’s health, relationships and career and so it would seem that eliminating the toxic ear pollution of griping would be something everyone would rally behind. Far from being frivolous, this resolution would raise the level of discourse in this country and help us come together to create solutions to our personal and joint societal challenges. Together, we would seek ideal outcomes rather than sinking to finger pointing and lamenting our present woes.


Many other resolutions that do seem flippant have already been declared official by our Congress or are pending approval, including:


Already Approved by Congress:

July 3rd – National Ice Cream Day

April 18th – National Auctioneers’ Day

March 14th – National Pi day (the mathematical constant, not the desert)

October 2nd – National MRSA Day (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)


Currently Awaiting Congressional Approval:

National Estuaries Day (An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water)

Free Comic Book Day

National Cowboy Day



H. Con. Res. 155 is only taking up a fraction of Rep. Cleaver and his staff’s time and those who attack this idea do not fully understand the profound impact it offers.


Complaining is an energetic (negative) statement that focuses on the problem at hand rather than the resolution sought. By keeping the focus on the problem, creative solutions are lost and we remain mired in the current challenge.


This resolution, as well as the principles behind A Complaint Free World, are not asking people to remain silent about injustices and problems. On the contrary, it is inviting people to take action and speak directly and only to those who can effect the change they seek.


Most people, when confronted with an issue, will complain to everyone other than the person who can improve their situation. A person with a problem at work will complain to their spouse rather than speaking to their boss or a co-worker. A person who has an issue with their spouse will often complain to their friends.


H. Con. Res. 155 is urging people to take responsibility and speak out asking for what they want rather than complaining about what is. The passage of this resolution will be an ongoing reminder to U.S. citizens that they live in a democratic society in which their voice can and should be heard but that they are doing little to create positive change by being the complaining canary in the mineshaft. Rather, they should take action, speak out and, as Gandhi admonished, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”


As a football game is being played, there may be tens of thousands of people sitting in the stands all shouting about how the game “should” be played but there are 22 men on the field giving their all to win.


Adopting this resolution would invite people to get into the game. It will encourage them to “speak up or shut;” to take responsibility and to hold to a vision of what might be rather than lamenting what is.


Rep. Cleaver is a visionary, and a man with a can-do attitude. Let’s support him. Let’s get in the game with him. Visit www.House.Gov and call your congressional representative today. Tell him or her that you support H. Con. Res. 155 and they should, too.

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