One of the things I love about going into thrift stores is the guaranteed random variety of used items. From embroidered oven mitts to ridiculous board games, you never know what you’ll find in a used junk store. With the exception, that is, of two categories: workout videos and self-help books. Each of these items exists in abundance in the realm of “stuff people quickly decide they no longer want or need.”
Local author Dr. Beth Gineris, has recently released a new book which will undoubtedly be filling thrift store shelves for decades to come. Turning ME to WE takes 250 pages to make the same point every coach makes at halftime: “There’s no ‘I’ in Team!” Both phrases remind us that teamwork is key. Working together is important. United we stand, divided we fall, and so on. Both phrases also try, and fail, to be clever in their manipulation of the English language to make this point. If Beth had grown up in a Spanish-speaking household, I’m sure her book would be called, “Turning Yo into Yo, Let’s Work Together!”
This isn’t the first time Beth has used the power of symmetry to come up with a book title. Her previous book is titled Turning NO to ON. In her first book she taught us “The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness,” while Turning ME to WE teaches “The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness.” Personally, I’m excited for the inevitable third book in the series—Turning STRESSED to DESSERTS: The Art of Partaking with Mindfulness.
Don’t get me wrong. Turning ME to WE makes a lot of good points. In fact there isn’t much in this book with which I disagree. But the book could have made the point that drinking water is good for you, and I would have agreed with that also. Just because something is true, doesn’t mean it’s interesting.
As I was flipping through the pages, I was trying to figure out who this book is marketed towards. I suppose it would make a wonderfully terrible birthday present, a subtle hint for that special friend who always wants to talk about the stupid dream they had last night, but will never listen to yours. Why is it so entertaining to talk about the dreams we have, but so mind-numbingly dull to listen to someone else babble the same nonsense? Someone should write a book about that.
Then again, I’ve attempted to partner with a few women, attempts which were often less than artful. I still haven’t figured out how to mindfully explain that my punk band is more important than shopping for a new vacuum. Hell, had I read this book five years ago, maybe it could have saved my marriage. I would have bought it for my wonderful wife and gently explained that I was simply “Turning HER into someone betTER.” I’m sure it would have worked.
The problem with books like this is that although they are well intentioned, the people who really need to read them never will. I suppose if a person is unable to afford $50 an hour for therapy every week, then a one-time purchase of a $20 book seems like a good deal. It’s just hard for me to imagine someone reading this unless they were getting paid to review it.