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The Zen Course in the Miracle of Motorcycle Maintenance of Highly Effective People

I’m kind of a self-improvement junkie. But only kind of. It’s not uncommon for me to find something that resonates with me, latch on to it with the fervor of a zealot for about a week and then go right back to my old, self-unimproved ways. It happens at least once or twice a year. Nothing ever comes of it except a new journal with like three entries and a renewed sense of failure, which is exactly what you don’t want from your self-improvements, am I right?

I never actually stick with any of these systems long enough to IMPROVE anything and then in a year or so, I find something new, some new way to become the best, most fearless, most centered, most zen me I can be.

And I am not the only one. Self-improvement is BIG BUSINESS. People make mad cash off of other people’s feelings of insecurity and lack of self-worth and desire to be happy. From Dr. Phil and Oprah to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to intensive weekend training courses in the art of building popsicle stick houses as meditation, someone is always trying to make a buck from making you feel pretty or smart or self-assured. Some of it is legit, don’t get me wrong. And some people really do have an honest desire to help. But they all also want to make money, which to me kind of sullies the whole thing.

That there are so many millions and millions and millions of people out there who feel that they need Oprah to tell them how to be a better version of themselves is the truly troubling part though. America is a nation of harsh critics. Our society is so judgy and just shitty that everyone thinks there is something fundamentally wrong with them, that they are so broken they need to pay someone else whom they have never met to tell them how to get fixed. It’s pretty fucked up.

We shouldn’t need a “system” for better mental health or better self-image or to stand up for ourselves. This goes back to that village I was talking about in my last post. It goes back to community and taking care of one another because that’s the kind thing to do. That’s the human thing to do. We should all just stop being assholes and realize that EVERYONE is struggling with something. Help people instead of tear them down. Be nice instead of mean. Don’t be a dick.

It’s really is as simple as that. If you stop being a dick, then that guy that you were a dick to won’t get upset and act like a dick to the girl at the coffee shop and she won’t get upset and be a dick to her kid who won’t develop some fucked up emotional pathology because mom was verbally abusive and nobody needs Dr. Phil.

Just be nice to people.


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