Tag Archives: rants

The Secret

1 Feb

Can I tell you a secret?  I have neither read the book, nor watched the movie, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I don’t want any part of “The Secret“.  I know that some people would criticize me for judging this (shall we call it a movement?) without spending more time learning about it, but just from the hype and the media on it, I’ve had my fill.

It’s not that I doubt the power of positive thinking; I’m all for positive thinking.  Nothing is a bigger turn-off than someone who is all bitch and no sunshine, ya know?  And I am a firm believer in looking for the good in a situation, of hoping for the best, of viewing things from a glass-half-full kind of perspective.  But I haven’t heard anything in there about the ingredient that makes positive thinking work, namely, positive doing.

My initial impression of The Secret was negative, I’ll admit it.  There’s something about positive thinking masquerading as hard-and-fast science that just sticks in my craw.  The idea of “what you put out there, you get back”, of karma, of you-reap-what-you-sow, I’m fine with all that.  Call it the “Law” of Attraction and you’ve got me reaching for the Gravol.

My knee-jerk reaction was only reinforced when I heard one of the “teachers” of The Secret on the radio explaining that everything that happens to a person is explained by the so-called Law of Attraction.  What about a woman who gets raped? someone asks.  The teacher guy explains that while the woman might not have wanted to be raped, the fact that she worried about it or had a deep-seated fear of rape, that’s the cause, so yes in a way she brought it on herself.  Excuse me?!  This is empowering?!  (I can hear my voice getting screechier with indignation, even as I type.)

C’mon people, The Secret is just the same self-help message we’ve heard for decades packaged up in some shiny paper with some pretty bows.  Much as I admire good marketing, the over-simplification in the latest delivery seems frankly dangerous if it encourages people to blame a victim for their own problems.  Not to mention how many people are parted with their money buying the book, the DVD, the conferences, and all the spin-off products.

If you want some real self-help, try reading How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Not only is it a classic and a shining pillar of common sense, it’s actually fun to read.  And you can probably find a copy at your local library.  Or you can read Smart Couples Finish Rich or The Wealthy Barber for some practical financial advice. 

Whatever, just don’t try to sell me The Secret.