Here's how Miller frames his in-depth, less-than-a-full-page-of-text investigation into why this question is "incorrect":
Stress is a choice. Do you buy that? Some people have a hard time with the idea. They think it's the people and events in our lives that stress us out...but it isn't true.If you're wondering what I removed with the ellipses, it's just boring lists of interpersonal difficulties: "someone doesn't follow through," that kind of thing. I left in the portions of the list that I left in because I find it illuminating that these bad things that Miller tells us "happen" are not things that just happen. His phrasing reminds me of these plaques they have up at the rest stops on the New York Thruway: "History Happened Here!" These things aren't natural disasters or random accidents. The economy souring and jobs getting lost? That does not just "happen."
Yes, bad things happen: The (sic) economy sours, our business struggles, the stock market tumbles, jobs are lost... Life is full of these. But still, stress is a choice, because whatever the "trigger event," we always choose our own response.
People with vast wealth and power make these things happen in their efforts to gain still vaster wealth and power for themselves. Because "the economy"? It doesn't exist. It does what it does because people decided that it does that. Sure, there may or may not be a central cabal of people consciously running things this way, but there sure are a handful of people who could just decide one day to stop.
I'd also love to see Miller have his big house in Denver with the living room bigger than a convenience store and his wife with the Sarah Palin jacket he spent several years of my income buying her and his seven children (three adopted!) and all of his speaking engagement fees and the respect from the corporate world and his appearances on Fox News programs all taken away. What kind of "decision" about stress do you think he'd make?
Now pay attention:
Stress is also the result of our choices. When we choose to ask a question like "Why is this happening to me?" we feel as if we have no control. This leads us to a victim mindset, which is extremely stressful.Do you see this?
I'd like to point out first that Johnny G-Man does not actually explain why asking "Why is this happening to me?" leads to feeling out of control. The reason he doesn't do this is that it's impossible, because his premise makes no sense. In fact it is diametrically opposed to reality. In reality, "Why is this happening to me?" is a response to feeling--more to the point, actually being--out of control. Things happen that are beyond our control, and we ask, "Why is this happening to me?"
And as I said in my commentary on Chapter Four, this is the most empowering question we can possibly ask. So long as we don't duck the question with "everything happens for a reason" nonsense (a bit of "folk wisdom" designed to serve the ruling class every bit as much as "money can't buy happiness"), asking the question is an important step into becoming aware. And the more people who are aware, the more likelihood there is that we can work together to change things.
This, of course, is exactly why John G. Miller and the people he serves don't want us to ask the question, why they try so hard to convince us not to. As a matter of fact, Miller addresses this very truth directly, if opaquely, in the final sentence of the chapter:
Even in cases where we actually are victims and our feelings seem justified, "Why me?" thinking only adds to our stress.As we are told time and time again in this excrescence/excrement of a book, self-education, awareness, and efforts to retain our humanity are terrible things to be avoided at all costs, no matter how justified these actions might "seem."
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