The real secret about The Secret

(With apologies to vickyandnorm.)

This is about the most obvious news I’ve heard in a long time about some self-help scheme or get-rich-quick ploy. I’m always skeptical about this kind of thing and I realize it annoys or grates on friends and family. But I think SNL got it right with their parody of The Secret and I’m glad to see I’m not the only skeptic out there.

There’s nothing wrong with a positive outlook on things. But The Secret makes it seem like wishing makes it so. And those who “wish” don’t always get their wishes and somehow it’s their fault; they weren’t wishing hard enough. It’s utterly preposterous to me. It sounds very much like packaged, marketed, pasteurized and homogenized prayer, only it’s worse. Sincere people, who pray as part of their religious beliefs usually don’t pray for things like a winning lottery ticket or a new diamond necklace. Or maybe they do, I don’t know, but doing so seems awfully greedy and I don’t see greed as part of sincere prayer. But it seems to me that The Secret is all about greed, and that just makes me sad.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.