Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review: Brightsided (Book 33 of 100)

Brightsided by Barbara Ehrenreich was my latest book. I like Ms. Ehrenreich as you know. Her books are funny and poignant. However, this the first book of hers that I disagreed with, she says that happiness doesn’t encourage good health.

As I person with various impairment, illnesses, and injuries I must disagree. Of course, as Ms. Ehrenreich says, positive thinking will not cure illness and anyone who thinks so is foolish. However, a positive attitude enables an ill or injured person to be motivated to get out of their beds and to the hospital or doctor as required.

She is right that positive thinking is to right for economists or the doctor or the church. These institutions need be more realistic. We don’t want our doctors or economists ignoring things, because they are not positive. Imagine of how many cancers would be ignored, because doctors wished not to upset people with poor test results. Death could (and most likely would) result.

The economy is another place where we want no liars. But “negative” economists are frequently fired. As one big executive said, “I’m one of the most lied to men in America”. No wonder all those economic bubbles burst!

As person of faith and therapy goer, I was deeply disturbed by both positive psychology and mega-churches. Therapy and church are places you go to get supported and work on your problems, not ignore them and pretend everything is great!

I rate this book a 6.75 out of 10. It’s not a great, but a fun read. You’ll learn stuff. I don’t love it, because it’s not as funny as typical Barbara Ehrenreich, but that’s my only criticism.

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