Watch your back, Dalai Lama! Find a new job, Dr. Phil! Start panicking, Buddha! There’s a new philosophically inspiring bigwig in town, and his name is Me!
Do you feel less than fresh? Chock-full of ennui? Angst-ridden? Hey, don’t fret! This summer, the solution to all your problems will come swooping into your life in the form of me, America’s premier motivational speaker. I will be crisscrossing this fair country of ours for the next three months with a glorious mission: to give direction to the directionless, to give hope to the hopeless and to rally people against the two most dangerous things on Earth.
Here’s the show: I hit the stage at a half-jog, waving and smiling, and the crowd goes wild. I grab the mic and scream, “Is everybody ready to live?” Cries of affirmation roar back at me, to which I respond by cupping a hand behind my ear and yelling, “I can’t hear you!” They scream louder. I then do 20 jumping jacks, an idea I stole from “Sweating to the Oldies.” This gets the crowd even more riled up and makes me sweatier. People trust inspirational speakers more when they’re sweaty.
Next, I warm up the crowd with a few inspirational phrases from Oprah, followed by a quote from the ’80s cult teen film “Sixteen Candles.”
“I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become,” I say in my best Oprah tone. “I don’t think of myself as a poor, deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who, from an early age, knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good. I define joy as a sustained sense of wellbeing and internal peace – a connection to what matters. Well! No more yankee my wankee, my friends! The Donger needs food!”
The crowd cheers, agreeing that the symbolic Donger, i.e. them, symbolically needs food, i.e. direction. I then give the wide-eyed Dongers the food they crave.
“Hear me now,” I begin. “One day I was watching ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ in my underwear, shaking off a hangover, when a commercial for Lucky Charms came on. Friends! This commercial spoke to me! Yes! Its premise was that a leprechaun desperately craves cereal. Do you ever feel like that – like a leprechaun that desperately wants a sweet marshmallow-laden treat?”
I pause for effect. The audience nods and murmurs their approval.
“Of course you do. We’re all leprechauns in our own way. The leprechaun works hard, so very hard, but it is never allowed to realize its dreams of eating Lucky Charms cereal. And you know why? Greedy, sadistic children. Whenever the leprechaun gets close to eating its beloved, greedy, sadistic little children steal it. Then, like the monsters they are, they torture the leprechaun by eating the cereal in front of him. Doesn’t that make you angry?”
The crowd yells angrily.
“Now, who do you think those little children are in real life, those holding us back from our dreams? Our doubts? Our co-workers? Jay-Z and his supposed retirement? No! You want to know who’s really holding you back? What’s getting in the way of your well-being, your dreams, your happiness? Well, I’ll tell you …”
And I do. I tell them and it makes sense to them, just as I’m sure it will make sense to you. The problem with the world is the philosophy of existentialism and Germany. Existentialism makes people question why they do some things, why they exist and what it means to take full account of one’s life. Germany is full of depraved sickos not worthy of breathing. Combined, the two things make the world a darker place. I conclude my speeches by whipping the audience into a frenzy, arming them and then sending them to attack both Germany and the existential philosophers that cause people to think too much. No speaker has ever motivated people toward such noble goals.
Drew Atkins is a Daily Nexus columnist.