Thursday, January 28, 2016

I'm Not Selling Lemonade

I don't make lemonade. I'm not running a lemonade stand here. If you want lemonade, I suggest you go elsewhere.

I do not make lemonade when life gives me lemons, nor is that something I want to promote or teach to other people. If you personally want to learn how to learn how to make lemonade out of life's lemons, I'm confident that you'll find plenty of books or blog posts on that, written by people other than me.

When I think of the lemons that I'm fighting right now, I don't picture an individual person standing there throwing lemons at me. I don't picture a whole gang of people throwing lemons at me. And I don't picture lemons just falling out of the sky. (Kids: adults like to tell you that lemons are falling from the sky when the adults themselves are throwing the lemons at you. Don't believe their lies). What I do picture is a machine that keeps throwing lemons at people no matter how much they tell it to stop or try to get out of its throwing range. And I'm ready to break that machine.

Some people mistake me for being a good productive citizen, doing constructive things, and contributing to society. I'm not like that. I am destructive and I only ever want to have a destructive impact. But that lemon-throwing machine is too powerful and too complex for me to just smash with a baseball bat. It's so complex that I've had to build my own machine to dismantle it.

That's where my book comes in.

But the book isn't just one machine to dismantle another machine. My book is more of a toolbox with a set of instructions on how to destroy the machine. I'm picturing a person getting pelted with tons and tons of lemons that they don't want, and when the reach out for help, all they can find are lemonade recipes. And I picture myself handing them a screwdriver and telling them, "It's that screw, right at the bottom. That's what's holding the machine together. Go over there and unscrew it, jump out of the way, and watch that machine crumble to pieces before your eyes."

And let's be clear - this machine was not designed by some evil supervillain. Most of the machines that I'm teaching my readers to dismantle were built by people who may truly want what's best for them. But that doesn't matter. If you don't want those lemons being pelted at you, whether by your parents, your peers, or your society at large, come over sometime, I'll show you my toolbox, and I'll teach you how to break the machine.

Granted, breaking a lemon-throwing machine is not simple. It's taken a lot of studying how the machine works in order to figure out where its foundation is, to figure out which pieces will make the machine collapse when they're removed. I'm still not sure I got everything right in my book. But I am aiming to hand out screwdrivers to everyone and say, "It's that screw, right at the center of the foundation." My goal is to give you the tools to destroy whatever is causing you pain.

I'm not selling lemonade.

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