"'The Secret': Creating a Culture of Cheerfulness as Rome Burns" - by Carolyn Baker

"'The Secret': Creating a Culture of Cheerfulness as Rome Burns" - by Carolyn Baker
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Sunday, May 06, 2007 04:59 am



It’s All About Me

In Sibling Society (1996) Robert Bly astutely describes American culture as one of children who have never matured into adulthood and where “adults cling to self-absorbed adolescent values, television talk shows have more clout than elders, children are spiritually abandoned to fend for themselves, and in the place of community we have built shopping malls.”

I can think of no more apt description of The Secret than this, for it is first and foremost all about me and \'what I want\'.

Only children and adolescents believe that they can, as The Secret insists, have anything they want. Rhonda Byrne of Prime Time Productions, one of the principal filmmakers and author of the book The Secret, says she was inspired by reading The Science Of Getting Rich, a 1910 book by Wallace D. Wattles, a New Thought transcendentalist, which proclaims that one’s wealth or lack thereof is a product of one’s thought and attitudes. Positive thinking attracts good things; negative thinking attracts a lack of such.

When I hear these concepts, I can only return to: How uniquely American! Can you imagine telling twelve-year-old girls in Chinese sweatshops -- the ones who work sixteen hours a day for pennies, live in squalor, may get raped at any moment, and sometimes are found dead at the ripe old age of twenty at their sewing machines from working themselves to death -- can you imagine telling them that their situation is the product of their thoughts? Examples of such ghastly human suffering are countless in a world where millions of human beings live on less than two dollars a day.