Management-consulting psychologist Fleming tackles the half-truths we use to skirt accountability and keep us from realizing our full selves.
This short work starts out promisingly enough, exposing the half-truths so often at play in our emotional, business and spiritual lives, where the shrink-wrapped quick fix gives us just â€œenough to validate our first reactions to a situation, eases our discomfort, and keeps us from doing the hard work of penetrating through to the full truth.” These half-truths are staples of the self-help and business-strategy industry, where ends justify means, the path is taken rather than explored and personal responsibility and sustainable solutions are folded away in some dark corner. Half-truths abound in psychology (for example, strong feelings do not necessarily represent authenticity), in business (â€œJust Do It!”) and in religion (â€œGod is nonjudgmental”). We should abandon method over meaning, embrace the dissonant with the consonant, not simply act but master, and push through to uncovering the likely discomfiting other half, finding synthesis. Right, but how? Unfortunately, Fleming’s finger is more at home poked in the eye than pointing to solutions. â€œThe real truth will always involve genuine empathy for its own sake,” yet the very slippery notion of genuine empathy is left unexplained. Time management is only constructive when it is â€œperceived what is truly important in every moment” and time is not â€œdominated by false assumptions.” No examples of false assumptions or how to identify what is truly important are forthcoming. â€œGod wants us, not our perfection. And in giving our hearts, we get a perfect relationship,” which is an emotional alignment as easy to sense as a color beyond ultraviolet. Unanchored by specifics, such talk is runic, and a sprinkling of contradictions only deepen the mystery: â€œThere is no such thing as feeling â€˜bad,’ ” he breezily writes, then on the next page, he speaks to â€œour deep PRIMARY emotions: Good and Bad.”
Half-baked answers to half-truths.