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Friday, October 7, 2011

Admit When You're Wrong- Rule of Success
Okay, I might owe an apology to Norman Vincent Peale, because in a previous post, I wrote that Peale expects people to be Christians to reap the benefits of faith (i.e., success.) According to Matthew Syed, who wrote a totally fascinating book Bounce: the Science of Success, which is worth a whole post of its own, N.V. Peale advocated faith in any god--not only in Jesus Christ. Syed talks a lot about success in the sporting world, and he addresses the power of faith and its role in success. (More on that later).

I figured if this bestselling author pronounces N.V. Peale as non-prescriptive about which religion, just as long as it is some kind of religion, he must know. And I admit when I'm wrong.

Admitting when you're wrong is one of the crucial underpinnings of Dale Carnegie's philosophy, by the way. It just might be the only one that comes naturally to me. Smile, admit when you're wrong, make decisions and don't look back, focus on Now. No, yes, no, and nope, can't do it.

So, worried that my tens of readers might be led astray by foolish and weakly-researched statements by yours truly, I reread N. V. Peale's book, The Power of Positive Thinking.

Thing is, I can't find any place where he says You Can Be Any Religion You Want. I mean, he's got one anecdote about a Jewish woman who, by reciting every morning, "I believe, I believe, I believe," changes her whole tale of woe into a tale of, well, WHOA!  And he's got one paragraph about a religious magazine called Guideposts that he was involved with that is "interfaith"-- by which I think he means all kinds of Christianity, from Catholicism to Episcopalianism.

So I'm not sure how Matthew Syed arrived at this conclusion. Maybe it was reading between the lines. After all, there's no mention in Power of trying to convert the Jewish woman. Or maybe N. V. Peale relaxed his standards later on, and I haven't read that book. I just don't know.

Which is why I might owe him an apology. And I might not. But Yom Kippur starts at sundown tonight, and it is the Jewish Day of Atonement, so I'm hedging my bets.

This feels a little bit like getting back in touch with my compulsive-superstitious childhood self. In sixth grade -- okay, seventh-- I went through a phase. You know the saying, "See a pin, pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck; see a pin, let it lay, and bad luck is here to stay?" Well, I must have been looking down a lot, because almost every frickin' day I found a pin. Naturally wanting to avoid bad and ensure good luck, I had to pick it up. And then at night, when I emptied my pockets, I'd put the pins on my dresser. And then in the morning, when I woke up, there were the pins from the previous day on the dresser. So I had to pick them up. Until finally I was pinning a large collection of safety pins to -- oh, heck, why not admit it--to my underwear. Which I had to unpin every night...

I made it to adulthood. Really. With just a little help from paid professionals. I promise it's not contagious. And I don't do it anymore. In fact, I don't even know where the closest safety pin is.

While I'm not entirely sure I owe an apology to Norman Vincent Peale, I am pretty sure I do owe one to the Husband. Yesterday was our anniversary. It's kind of a big one. I got him a watch, which is the so-called official gift for the fifteenth. So maybe I was just a little less than overwhelmed by the flowers he brought me. He's been very busy lately, on call fifty percent of the time, so it's a lot easier for me to shop since I'm un(der)-employed.

So why complain? The flowers are gorgeous, and they came in a vase. Crystal is another traditional gift for the fifteenth anniversary, after all. On the other hand, the vase is glass, not crystal. Jesus.

Which is why it's important for even the most secular Jew to go to synagogue once in a while.


  1. Happy Anniversary, apology possibly accepted on behalf of Norman Vincent Peale, and how on earth did you manage to embellish on the superstition about picking up a pin by pinning it to your underwear? That is definitely not early upcycling, and I know whereof I speak in that regard (I have upcycled three slipdresses, which are technically underwear, are they not, into a party dress, a party dress, and a wedding dress.)

    I think I missed the boat on the fifteenth anniversary opportunity to get my husband a watch.

  2. How on earth did I embellish on the pin? How on earth did I not? Just a healthy mix of wacky, I guess. ......

    "Upcycling"-- love it! Once I wore a nightgown to a school dance. It was definitely upcycled to look like a Spanish wedding dress, which was all the rage back then.