THE AGE OF BULLSHIT
I got off to a bad start with this essay by wondering if "bullshit" was one word or two. You normally see it as one word, but is that correct? It seems to depend on how you are using the expression. All of the references I could find listed it as one word. But they were defining it as an offensive term meaning to say things that are completely untrue or very foolish. None of these references defined it as the stuff excreted from a bull's rear end. If you are passing a pasture containing bulls, the correct description for the piles of manure requires the two-word version.
What got me thinking about the one-word expression was listening to Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins is what people refer to as a "motivational speaker." However all he motivated me to do was use the one-word expression. I think a lot of motivational speakers do their thing because they are motivated to make money. They are good at convincing people of how wonderful they can be if they only think about it in the right way. Tony Robbins is wealthy because he looks and sounds authoritative. If he had the appearance and voice tone of Ross Perrot, he wouldn't make a penny motivating anyone. And if Ross had looked and sounded like Tony Robbins, he would have been elected president.
It's really a shame (and a sham) that people are so gullible. Almost 150 years ago, Phineas Quimby, the so-called father of the New Thought Movement, believed that all diseases and their cures originated in people's minds. Now there is no doubt that positive attitudes about one's body and situation can contribute to better health, but I don't know of anyone who has thought their way out of cancer or multiple sclerosis. Never the less, old Phineas convinced a lot of people – whom, I might add, all died.
I don't have an argument with the idea of positive thinking, as long as it is done with the realization that it's not what you think but the decisions that you implement that determine your success or failure. Positive thinking will help motivate you to do things that negative thinking might prevent you from attempting. But please don't make a religion out if it and sell it as a way to make your living. There are too many bullshit artists out there already.
A sure fire way to feel good about yourself is to go out and do something positive – either for yourself or for someone else. Buying Deepak Chopra books or paying up to $10,000 for a Tony Robbins seminar in order to hear bullshit isn't the answer. However, it does help the motivational careerists get rich, so you would be doing something positive for them.
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