Last week I described half of a conversation I overheard between a man and his girlfriend. She blamed him for causing an engine problem, causing him to have a very long day, because he had told her the previous day that it would be a long day. Got that? His statement, according to her, caused his engine issues. In other words, he created his reality -- this very long day -- with his statement the day before.
This is a watered-down version of any of the "Create Your Reality" theories, from Napoleon Hill to Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret. The problem with this, in my view, is that it sometimes leads us to blame the victim when something bad happens. 'If you have cancer, it is because you held destructive thoughts.' 'If you didn't get the job, it's because you don't believe you are worthy.' And so on. It's very easy to see someone else's misfortune and be judgmental, saying that they created their own misery.
When we just sit back and accept our negative circumstances as karma, however, it's easy just to become complacent and not even try to make our lives better. 'I was born poor and will stay that way my whole life because that's my lot in life.' 'I can't get ahead in life because I have bad luck.' 'Our family never got past a high school education, and that's my fate, too.' I'm sure you can think of more examples of this view as well.
So what is the best view to take? More on that next week.