Rational Help

It’s kind of ironic that my Mother always wanted me to adopt her philosophies so that I could better “heal” people… And as admirable as that may sound, as I grew older I came to realize that her aberrant beliefs were much less about making the world a better place than they were simply a series of unfounded, self-serving assertions designed to illicit reactions from people. It amounted to nothing more than attention seeking humbug, and frankly, it was the exact opposite of what she claimed them to be. It was in fact, selfishness that came at the expense of others.


 As it is with any child who has beliefs forced on them, I resisted. First it was out of youthful rebellion, but as I reached the age of cognizance, no part of my sensibility allowed me to believe in psychics, magic, space aliens, invisible entities, immeasurable energies or anything else that was a departure for rationality. Therefore I also couldn’t fathom any of that drivel actually helping anyone in any way whatsoever.


It has been my experience that this type of self-deceit leaves people hollow, and forever searching for answers where they can’t find them…in a fantasy world. Although it would be nice if there were “angels” to protect us and crystals that could cure cancer, that simply isn’t the way the world works. When fantasy fails us in favor of actuality we are left with the choice of either questioning faith, or submerging deeper into denial. Rather than admit intellectual culpability, most indignantly stand by their puerile postulations.


However rationality and seeking the truth rather than waiting for an ethereal force to answer prayers is ultimately what allows people to thrive. It is the difference between someone waiting to hit the lottery, and a pro-active entrepreneur. It is also the difference between people who prematurely marry hoping they will live “happily ever after”, and those who employ enlightened interdependent interaction.


This past weekend I performed my relationship seminar, “UnLearn Vanilla Marriage” at the Exxxotica NY Expo. I deliver it in response to what I perceive to be the self-help industry’s irrational attempt at applying a marital archetype that frankly isn’t serving the populace very well… which is based on platitudes and convention derived from religious and patriarchal ideals.  It challenges monogamy as the singular marital standard, and offers some different perspectives on relationships and why it is that couples react to one another the way that they do.


The seminar only discusses things that are tangible in people’s experiences, and asks them to acquiesce to reason. It does not offer the key to any vault that contains any special wisdom, nor does it offer certain truth. It does not ask anyone to take a leap of faith, rather to draw conclusions based on acumen. It maintains that people’s truths are their own, and I try to throw in a few laughs along the way.


The responses I have received in the days following have been extraordinary, and quite honestly, humbling. While I will admit that the positive acknowledgment I get from people are an ego-boost, it also feels good to be able to provide couples with a rational perspective that they are otherwise unable to get in the present social climate. The truth is, I love helping people.


But apparently, conventional wisdom would have us believe that unless I ask people to adopt inappreciable abstractions, mine is an ideology that transgresses morality. Both ethics, and the truth it would appear, is not what we see, rather it is what serves the best interest of those selling it.


About Rich Woods

Rich Woods is the author of the critically acclaimed books, UnLearn Vanilla Marriage, and Yahweh to Hell. He is also a columnist, sociologist, and satirist who has performed seminars around the country. He's also made several TV and radio appearances. Transitioning from a blue-collar background has given Mr. Woods a unique perspective --and an even more unique elocution--among his peers. Raised Catholic, Mr. Woods is now a very public atheist who champions the separation of church and state. He's an advocate for non-traditional relationships, including --but not limited to-- negotiating non-monogamy, as well as being a vocal opponent of political correctness. Throughout his career, Woods has had colorful metaphors hurled in his direction from both liberals, and conservatives. To be honest, most of the vitriol comes from the Tea Party. However, he considers one of his greatest accomplishments having been called "Harry Reid's Lapdog" , and referred to as being "just like Rush Limbaugh" from two different sources within minutes of one another. Originally from Queens, New York, and presently residing in central New Jersey, Rich Woods is madly, and hopelessly in love with his wife Jane since before they were wed in 2002, and is the proud father of two successful, brilliantly creative, young adult children. Try as he might, he can't juggle.

Posted on September 30, 2009, in Archived Posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  2. As a union between to people, marriage should be defined by what the two people make of it and want from it, not what the standard says they are supposed to be.

  3. Your site was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

  4. Okay…I am a big fan of Rich’s writings. : )

    I think what he is trying to say here…is that it is perfectly fine to help others…as long as you are not doing it for just your own personal gain or glory. What I mean by gain…is getting something financial out of it.

    You also need to know where to seek this rational help…because there are some good sources out there. Just be aware of what you are seeking and if it seems to good to be true…it probably is.

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