Tuesday, February 12, 2008

the purpose-driven secret to becoming a better buyer

Oh, sure. You can listen to all those self-help gurus if you want to. The ones who are writing all those blockbuster books that you can get at Barnes & Nobles or Borders. The ones who, like Rick Warren, tell you that you do have a purpose in life - you just need to get out there and discover it and live it. The ones who, like Joel Osteen, tell you that this is your best life now, and that best life is all about becoming a better you - a more you-ish you. The ones who, like Rhonda Byrnes, tell you that there's this secret out there that's been hidden for many-many-many years, and it's all about wishing for good things to happen and they magically happen because you wished them to.

Enough of all that. I mean, it's all so 2007. My personal swami/guru/motivator is Representative John Boehner of Ohio, he of the flashy smile and perfect hair that makes even John Edwards enviously green. He says that we're all consumers and our purpose in life is to buy, buy, buy.

House Minority Leader Boehner, a Republican congressman from Ohio, celebrated the recent passage of the economic stimulus package by saying, "The sooner we get this relief in the hands of the American people, the sooner they can begin to do their job of being good consumers." Your title: "consumer;" your mission: "buy stuff." Echoes of the president's call, amid the crisis of 9/11, to get out and "shop."
If Oprah is your personal goddess, you now have a place to worship.

Added: In all seriousness, this kind of "consumer" talk is nothing new. We were talking like this in the mental health field ten years ago. Mentally ill persons who came to our community support program seeking services (e.g., scheduling appointments to see a psychiatrist or a therapist, applying for disability and medical benefits, securing housing) were considered to be "consumers" of those services.


  1. I like John Boehner. He lives in my small town. Your niece caddied for him a few times at Wetherington Country Club where he lives. But I think the thing to do with this money they'll be sending us is to pay off bills or better yet save it.

  2. Why does everyone always think about money when talking about The Secret ? There's so much more to it. It's about changing your way of thinking, not about consuming !