Wednesday, July 08, 2009

569 The Power of Positive Thinking

569 The Power of Positive Thinking

Not that Norman Vincent Peale didn't do some good. But he also did a mess of harm and we're just now starting to realize it. And pay for it. By the time he published "Positive Thinking" in 1952, he already was a powerhouse preacher with a wide ranging magazine and radio audience, and with a warm voice that you'd call a whiskey voice on anyone but a preacher, he cooed and cajoled us into believing one of two or three of the greatest lies in history, without ever stating it in plain English. Here's the lie: Positive and negative thinking are axiomatic.

Smarmy Normy never said that in those words. But that was the premise behind his message. Perhaps that message would have gotten into the ether on its own, or from someone else's pen or radio show. But Norm's the guy put it out there. The rest of the world -- or a good chunk of it -- ran with the idea. A good chunk still does.

And this is what we are fighting today: the idiot notion that we can "...be anything we want to be..." that we can "...set our mind to any goal and accomplish it..." A load of ideological manure. And it's hurting us every day. The great entrepreneurial movement leaves no room for backup. When we fail in our attempts to re-invent the wheel, we get a job flipping burgers. Oh, sure, entrepreneurs succeed with a combination of work, help and luck and being in the right place at the right time with the right idea. But to tell people that a certain mindset will carry them to the top of the heap? Nah.

There ARE limitations. You HAVE limitations. Fail to recognize them at your peril.

Yes, Normy helped put us on the road to where we are today: deeply in debt, mindlessly "individualistic," reliant on our own internal machinery and not up to the task.

The power of positive thinking is as often the power to destroy as it is the power to create. And it's no axiom.

Shrapnel:

--They called the memorial "Jacko's final act," but it wasn't. Why do you think Grandpa and Grandma want those kids? It's so they can unleash a new set of Jacko-monsters on an eager public.

--The United States and its Good Friend Russia have signed a bunch of new agreements, and peace and happiness reign throughout the land. Now all we have to do is stop the unpaid former Soviet Generals from selling their secret stashes of nuclear warheads to someone. Like Iran?

--Oh, and then theirs our Good Russian Friend Sergey Aleynikov. He's charged with stealing secret code... not from the CIA or the Pentagon, but from Goldman Sachs, which needed it for one of its trading divisions and may lose a bunch of money as a result of the theft. True capitalism has come to the former Soviet Union.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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