Jury duty is emotionally exhausting. Wait a minute, I wasn’t impaneled. Voir dire is emotionally exhausting for potential juror #15 (that’s moi in voir dire). The case involved two defendants, both on drug charges. One of the defendants is homeless and admits that he is an addict. He sported an ivory-colored rosary to make his relationship with recovery clear.
The judge asked us to talk about family or friends who have substance abuse problems or who have been to rehab. I have stepdaughters who’ve battled methamphetamine addiction, so I had to recount this for the other 64 potential jurors, all the court personnel, the defendants and their counsel, and even the family/friends of the defendants who were there to witness the proceedings. Ouch. So ouch that I didn’t even want to write this post.
The judge was very compassionate, and acknowledged the difficulty of the situation. The behavior of these family members has had a huge impact on me, and that impact rolled right on into a new situation, this jury selection process.
The Secret would have me believe that I attracted this situation, that my negative thoughts led me to be part of a family with negativity. Among the myriad results of that negativity, at the bottom of the pile is that I was not chosen for the jury as I hoped I would be.
The best lies have a little truth in them, and The Secret fits the bill. Yes, positive thinking often yields a positive attitude, which may yield positive results in the 3-D world. But not always.
Here’s an example: I have written proposals to help non-profit organizations raise money. You do your best and you hope real hard that the funder likes what you’ve said. Sometimes they do, sometime they don’t. Can a mess o’ my positive thoughts change what the funder thinks? If I don’t think positive thoughts, am I to blame if the funder responds negatively?
The Secret wants us to believe that we have negative thoughts, conscious and unconscious, and those thoughts control our situations. The idea that the victims of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina had thoughts that attracted them “to being in the wrong place at the wrong time” is simply horrendous.
It’s easy to see how this quickly becomes “blame the victim” mentality. It creates a “them” and an “us” which is antithetical to community building. I think we all lost something on September 11, 2001, whether we were personally acquainted with any of the victims or not. Any of us could have been on those planes or in those buildings. We all lost something when our government botched the rescue of, and assistance for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The funny part is that I was introduced to The Secret by a friend who had a bootleg copy of the film. So did author Rhonda Byrne think a negative thought that resulted in the unauthorized copying and distribution of her film? Or has she “attracted” so much money at this point that it doesn’t matter?