In the paper this morning I found a blurb hawking a psychologist’s latest book. It asked the question, “Do you want to resolve personal and professional struggles — develop a deeper and more profound knowledge of yourself? To this I answered quickly, Oh Dear Gawd NO.
The last thing I need to obtain is a more profound knowledge of myself. Having lived with me for over 50 years now, it is dubious anyone can tell me something I don’t already know where I am concerned. I already understand that in the great egg carton of the world, I am the one that’s slightly cracked. My shell is not perfect; I will never be sunny-side up; I will always be scrambled. I’m okay with that.
I detest self-help books because, frankly, they don’t help, they only make you feel even crappier about yourself than when you started the book, plus you plunked down $29.99 for the pleasure of finding out in the final chapter that, yes, you are an absolute mess and all the sawing on your wrist with a plastic knife from Wendy’s won’t solve the deep-seeded issues that rise up occasionally and smack you upside the head. Gah….
The blurb on the abovementioned book states that this writer “aims to soothe readers while raising their level of consciousness and insight into their own and others’ behavior.” Horse-hockey. I don’t want to be “soothed.” I am in the mood to get riled up. And by “riled up” I don’t mean rude – I mean taking polite action when you see behavior that bothers you. Frankly if more of us got riled up every once in awhile we might not only gain better insight into others’ behavior but actually have a shot at changing some of the more annoying behaviors out there (such as people who talk on cell phones while I’m trying to watch a movie I paid a week’s income for, telemarketers who call me at dinnertime, and emaciated salesladies who have the audacity to tell me those jeans I poured myself into and which are causing me to actually turn blue from lack of oxygen as I gaze horrified into the 3-sectioned mirror really do make me look 10 pounds slimmer – liar – SLAP).
I was once nicely asked to leave a book store because I was laughing my butt off over in the self-help section. I’m sorry, but some of these books are just hysterical – if you follow some of the advice you will only need more self-help. A good portion of the self-help industry is a conspiracy to get your money and leave you a puddle on the floor when you realize that book you bought on how to lose 20 lbs cost you $24.99 plus tax and the colon cleanse it suggests is probably nasty and while it may result in weight loss, you will gain it all back in a day as you start eating again. We are so gullible. I say let’s just accept us as who we are and what we are and start enjoying what is left of our lives.
I have two suggestions for self-help I believe we all need: The first is a gut-busting dose of laughter. And the second suggestion is get your butt out there and do something nice for someone else. That’s it. Those are my self-help suggestions to all of you and they are free – you don’t have to pay me a thing – just find something every day that makes you smile or makes you laugh out loud, then go make someone else smile and I guarantee your life will be better.
As for me if I didn’t have the antics of EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer and the dry wit of Devoted Spouse, the silliness of Twitter, my 11 faithful readers and bloggyland friends, amazing friends on FaceBook and in the real world, I’d probably be peeling the plastic off those tacky little plastic-wrapped Wendy’s knives. Shoot, we’re all just a bunch of broken eggs. Here’s one last novel idea on self help: pick up your bible sometime – it has all the help you’ll ever need. sigh…