Or a dangerous delusion?
I was browsing through Apple's App Store the other day when I saw something that was labelled something like 'affirmations for creativity'. It was 79 cents and I thought, that's cheap and I'm creative, let's see what this is.
It's a series of cards from a lady called Louise L. Hay with the idea being that you look at one at the start of the day and it will help with creativity.
It downloaded. I opened it up.
And this is what I saw - "My job allows me to express my talents and abilities and I rejoice in this employment".
Hang on, I thought, there's a problem here. What if my job is a soul-destroying hell? Like, for example, back when I worked in advertising. Or what if I worked in a burger joint while my talent for sculpture went untapped? What is to be gained by telling myself that my job allows me to express my talents?
Louise L. Hay, I have to call you out on this. Personally, I think this does far more harm than good. Having people try convince themselves that they are happy in the status quo when in fact a life change could do them the world of good is positively dangerous. So let's say your affirmation works and they stay put, in Burger King, taking on your message each day to get through it. And, each day, they lose a piece of their soul, they get a day closer to death and a day further away from their dreams.
I'm all for affirmations that can express our potential. Remind ourselves just what we are capable of. But an affirmation that could very well be a flat-out lie? How many people on this Earth do you think are genuinely in a job that can allow them to express their talents?
What you are saying to people is this - you are no better than where you are right now.
And I think that's utter bollocks.
On an unrelated note, I got an absolutely lovely mention over at the excellent Healing Philosophy blog. Thanks, Alex!
I also meant to mention the passing of John Ryan, of Captain Pugwash fame. A remarkable creative talent from a golden age of UK children's shows. Brian Sibley has put up a lovely tribute over at his blog and I left my feelings in the comments.