Thursday, June 28, 2012

One Perfect Word by Debbie Macomber

One Perfect Word: One Word Can Make All the DifferenceOne Perfect Word: One Word Can Make All the Difference by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is very religious, and clearly a lot of people find it inspirational. It's a pretty easy short read and I don't regret reading it.

However, I just read Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America and this is the exact kind of "magical thinking" she argues against.

I have a big problem with the line of thinking that goes, "pray and your prayer will be answered, unless it's not and then either 1) you didn't pray hard enough, or 2) God has a different plan we can't understand." But did you know that people have studied whether or not prayer works in medical situations?:

Analyzing complications in the 30 days after the operations, the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.

In another of the study's findings, a significantly higher number of the patients who knew that they were being prayed for — 59 percent — suffered complications, compared with 51 percent of those who were uncertain. The authors left open the possibility that this was a chance finding. But they said that being aware of the strangers' prayers also may have caused some of the patients a kind of performance anxiety.

So yeah, I can't get terribly excited about Macomber's message, though I don't reject it completely either. I think that focus, meditation, and determination can have big effects on a person's life, as can luck.

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