My aunt Josie who had an incredible sense of the ridiculous, was remarking on our desire to control things. She commented on the fact that nobody seems to be able to do anything any more without someone telling them how to do it. She mentioned that since everyone is getting so entrenched in what experts think, that pretty soon they won’t be able to leave the house without taking someone’s advice. She figured she’d make millions by just writing a book that had one word written on each page; “leave”, “come back”, “eat”, ‘get dressed”! Of course, she also managed to point out that people hired me to learn how to laugh at their stress—something her generation did automatically, along with consuming their spaghetti and wine.
It appears that there is absolutely nothing a human being does that doesn’t have a self-help book attached to it. If you’re talking to someone, it’s no longer a conversation. if it’s a man, we can’t talk to him the same way we talk to a woman because he hears things differently right? If you don’t say it the right way, he might wash the car, instead of giving the baby a bottle. If you’re having a fight, you have to stay away from words that trigger old wounds.
My grandparents didn’t give a hoot about old wounds.They just yelled back and forth at each other. “Fatti.i fatti,tuoi!” my grandfather would shout.( “Mind your own business!”). “Sei pazzo!” Francesca would respond (“ You’re crazy”). Finally one of them would say, “ Ho fame!” ( “I’m hungry”). The whole thing would end as abruptly as it started, and they’d become absorbed in getting the water to boil for their daily plate of spaghetti. They were married for over fifty years without ever attending a couples workshop.
Nowadays, we want to control every aspect of our lives. You can take a seminar or get an app that will teach you how to manage your anger, how many steps you’ve taken, or if you had the right sleep patterns during the night, It amazes me how many books there on about how to walk properly. I wonder what has happened to all the people who walked incorrectly. Are thousands of them showing up in emergency rooms traumatized by injuries from walking improperly?
There are also books on breathing, communicating, weight loss, dog and cat training, and a lot of information on sex. It’s not that I don’t see the value we have accumulated in order to help humanity evolve. Some things are okay just the way they are. Others are enhanced by our intervention. Can you imagine an entire race of individuals with nothing wrong with them? Forget it; it wouldn’t last five minutes. Somebody would counter, by writing a book, “Returning to Dysfunction: The New Paradigm for the Modern Thinker”.