On the advice of more than one friend, I recently read the much-hyped self-help book of the moment, The Secret. Please note, I borrowed this book from one of the aforementioned friends and I read the entirety of the book on the 9:11 NJ Transit train from Penn Station to Morristown.
Rooted in the age-old law of attraction, The Secret asserts you can have all that you desire in life simply by focusing on positive thoughts. Likewise, negative thoughts can bring about illness, accidents and other crap.
Featuring a whopping 2,168 customer reviews on Amazon, clearly this book must be helping some people. While I won't argue with the concept that giving good spin to life's inevitable bummers makes one generally happier, I can't buy into the notion of preventing those bummers from ever happening because of my thoughts. I have certainly taken some of the book's recommendations to heart and now when I start worrying that I will end up alone and with "no mans," I instead start to conjure up my vision of some happy partnership with a wonderful man who loves me and makes me chocolate-covered strawberries and crepes on a regular basis.
But then there are the downsides to the book. The part that says overweight people are overweight is because they, "think fat thoughts," didn't exactly make me smile. Clearly, the plethora of authors (and why does it take 20+ people to write a 150-page book???), are all svelte and simply think thin in order to burn off all those crepes their perfect partners served them.
Also, if you happened to have the insatiably shitty luck of being born in a third-world country, then just don't even bother to read The Secret. But, maybe you don't even need my warning because you're already dead since your negative thoughts have brought a military coup, tsunami or plague upon your nation. See, in The Secret, there are no accidents and no one is in the wrong place at the wrong time - their thoughts of generalized death and destruction have led them there. Nice, huh?
I hope that in the coming months, I can harness the good aspects of The Secret to make some positive changes in my life. However, I am also keeping in mind the sage wisdom of our recently and dearly departed George Carlin. "I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose."