Have you heard about “The Secret” — the New Age movie that Oprah was raving about last week?
“The Secret” is all about the universal laws of attraction. Basically the message of the movie is you get what you ask for. You send out positive energy and you receive positive energy. You send out negative energy and you receive negative energy. Ask for it, believe it, receive it. Obey the laws of attraction and you, too, will get rich, lose weight, find true love and true bliss.
I have nothing against positive thinking, prayer, and optimism. It’s the flip side that bothers me. It’s nonsense to believe that people who get sick, lose their jobs, or get murdered “asked for it” or “had it coming” or “deserved it.” This blame-the-victim mentality only serves to protect the perpetrators or policies that caused the bad thing to happen in the first place.
Did Martin Luther King ask to be murdered?
Did my friend’s daughter deserve to get cancer?
And what about the children killed in the Oklahoma City federal building bombing or in Baghdad today– did they send out negative energy and ask to be blown up?
Bad things happen to people because there truly is evil and injustice in this world. That evil and injustice has to be confronted. Therefore, we must think about it.
New Agers want us to keep negative thoughts out of our minds, lest we attract the negative into our own lives, but refusing to see the negative does not make it disappear. Atrocities, bullies, crime, disease, violence, and war are realities we must deal with. Evil triumphs when good people do nothing to stop it.
A negative thought can be a good thing. It might be your conscience telling you that something is wrong. It might be your guardian angel warning you of a dangerous person. Your intuition can be your best friend.
My intuition says: be suspicious of those who tell us how to think.
PAT WOLFF lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org