The Kids Are Alright, But They Still Hate The Secret

What is the reason that so many young adults are thumbing their nose in the general direction of the movie The Secret? Sure, we can blame some of it on the search for identity and the need to disassociate with all things in the mainstream, but my guess is that the kids are more advanced on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs than the intended audience of The Secret.

Not only are they more enlightened than most of the general populace – thanks to the shifts in thought of generations of leaders before them-, they are more aligned with who they truly are than older generations who have accepted atrophy in their lives. That’s not to say that this generation of young adults will always be operating higher up the scale all the time; most young adults are lacking the experience of having to provide basic human needs for themselves – Once they get out on their own, they may better understand the earnestness that many of the followers of The Secret apply to it’s basic premise, (thoughts become things) but I don’t think they will ever buy into it.

At any rate, many of the young adults I talk to just don’t get what the secret is offering, in fact, many of them are offended at the overt materialism and shallowness of the message. Blame it on Maslow, the secret doesn’t speak to people who are further up the hierarchy of need.


Thank Kandee G and Eva Gregory for tuning me into the fact that people gotta’ start somewhere, and if that somewhere is things, that’s OK. Kandee explained that if a person can believe that things are coming their way and then the things actually come, chances are, that person will gain confidence in the ability to bring what they want into their lives. She went on to say that once they gain the ability to draw stuff, usually, they gain the ability to see that the stuff isn’t “filling the gap” and they begin to reach for more intangible things, relationships, self respect, etc. Eva pointed out that The Secret is just the tip of the iceburg when it come to what the actual Law of Attraction is.

OK, so I get that, and I’ll accept that the movie has it’s place, and that for many people it’s an inspired beginning for them. I still think that The Secret is pretty yucky, it smacks of payoffs and self promotion and alot of words w/o much actual content. No matter it’s motive and lack of message, the shit could just be the fertilizer that many people need in order to start growing up the hierarchy of need to the destination of self actualization, but as far as my generation and younger are concerned, there has yet to be an inspirational movie made with a message that’s worth believing in.

Terror begins at home.

I remember my dad and my brother “wrestling” in the living room after a shouting match they had about whatever teenage rebellion wasn’t jiving with my father’s military mind. A rare occasion to see my dad involved at all – but to see my brother so hell bent on destroying him (not in a competitive way, a very real scary way) with my father cackling and holding him down… the gift of a spotty memory prevents me from recollecting what was next.

Reminded of being kicked in the middle of my back by my mother, can’t remember what ensued previous to provoke her, but I recall she was very frustrated about something. My uncle ran to her and grabbed her, yelling at her for hurting me, said there was no reason to do that. That was when my dad was fighting in Kuwait, she must have felt so overwhelmed. I was more bewildered than hurt, and remember feeling sorry for her.

Thinking back on my childhood, I wouldn’t categorize us as abused children, although I would certainly say that using a leather belt to whip your child’s bare bottom was abuse – which we did get plenty of.

Is it terror that makes it abuse? Regularity? Exactly what? Do I not classify it as abuse because I know that others, including my parents had it 100x worse? Is it because I expected to be punished if I did something wrong that makes it ok in my mind?

Eventually, my parents gave up on hitting us and opted for grounding us from whatever it was that we loved to do most. I’d like to say it was because they became a little more enlightened, but suspect that it’s because we became too big and too human to push around.

These questions come to mind as I deal with my own teenager’s rebellion. It suddenly strikes me that I have no experience to fall back on – no clear picture of how to proceed. Not the cliche of not knowing, but a real not knowing of what to do as a conscious parent. If taking away privileges doesn’t work and adding punishments leads to flat refusal, I don’t know where to go. I can set the example and intention, but then what? Do I let my teenager color the mood of the entire family, set the example for my three year old?