Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Magic Jewelry Makes you Smarter and Bolder!


Peace, love, positive energy. "...it's like a second skin. I don't leave the house without protection and guidance," goes a current radio ad.

The voice actress isn't talking about carrying a map and some condoms. Does the peace, love and positive energy bit mean, for instance, helping homeless youth, or raising awareness about foster care, or fighting city hall? No, all those things are hard. The annoying radio ad is about Alex and Ani jewelry: "positive energy products that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit."

I love jewelry. What I don't love is the message that wearing jewelry will make you smarter, positive or more courageous. It's a no-effort solution, and like almost all no-effort solutions, it's bunkum. It's the twenty-first century, and yet a big business can be built on a bunch of BS.

Want to empower your spirit--for real? Even where magic really does exist, people (like Harry Potter) need courage and way to get it:

Harry Potter's Five Steps [to Courage]

(1) Prepare for the challenge.
(2) Surround yourself with support.
(3) Engage in positive self-talk.
(4) Focus on what's at stake.
(5) Take appropriate action.(1)

Want to enlighten your mind? Good--there's no substitute for knowledge. Knowing truth from falsehood is hard, but it helps to keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the one making the assertion, and that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Learn about logical fallacies, admit it when you're wrong, gather reliable information, do some N=1 tests on yourself, and probably, you can stop spinning your wheels. At the least, you can stop wasting your time on things that don't work.

As for positive energy, eat some meat or eggs from a pasture-raised animal. The energy is in the form of calories (they're units of energy), and an animal raised with care in its natural environment is a positive thing. It's as close to a no-effort solution as you can get.

1. Harry Potter's Five Steps to Courage by Tom Morris. Huffington Post, April 20, 2009. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-morris/harry-potters-five-steps_b_189244.html

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