They say a sucker is born every minute. According to my math, over the course of a lifetime, that formula would account for about 40 million suckers or roughly ten percent of the U.S. population. I don’t know, but that seems a bit light to me.

Think about it. Vitamins, dietary and nutritional supplements, loony diets, diet pills, colon cleansing, exercise systems, miracle cures, cold cures, homeopathic medicine (an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one), male enhancement and libido products, anti-aging products, self-help books, leadership and performance seminars, coaching, yada yada.

Do you have any idea how big those markets are, put together? Me neither, but I’m sure they’re enormous. If you’re into some of that stuff, don’t feel too bad. Everyone’s a sucker for something. Those are just some of the things that, with rare exception, I happen to think are a complete waste of time and money.

The sad truth is, we’ve become a Kool-Aid culture.

Here’s the thing. I’ve never been on a diet. I’m not a vegetarian. I don’t take any vitamins, supplements, or any of that stuff. I’ve never even opened a self-help book or attended a seminar. And the only medicine I take is actual medicine that’s scientifically proven to actually do something and regulated by the FDA.

And get this: I’m healthy and in good shape. So what’s the catch? There is none. I just try to be reasonably intelligent about what I put in my mouth and do with my body.

I stay active, run a couple of times a week, eat a pretty balanced diet of reasonably healthy foods, have a few vices that I try not to abuse all at once, wash my hands and shower once in a while, and go to the doctor and get shots when I have to.

I guess you could say I take care of myself, but the truth is, it doesn’t take any real time or cost anything. So I ask you, what’s all that nonsense about? Don’t get me wrong. I know why companies make that stuff and perform those services; to make money off suckers. What I mean is, why do so many fall for it when it does absolutely no good? Why do so many drink the Kool-Aid?

Before you flood me with angry comments, I know there are a few obvious exceptions, so please don’t tell me about probiotics, calcium, or Vitamin C and D. I get it. I’m talking about all the other nonsense. You know what I’m talking about.


  • Danny

    I would add all social media to that list. It seems that the same kind of folks who promote self-help, diets, and all the other stuff on the list are the same types who promote social media. What a colossal waste of time and energy that would otherwise return much greater dividends to society, families, and careers, all of which would enhance the participants’ pursuit of happiness. The things on the list are all things that are substitutes for yesterday’s snake oil. Yet current users feel they are not suckers for snake oil, but sophisticated leading edge technology users, because that is what the promoters tell them they are, therefore it is intellectually very cool to be one of the suckers. It truly is a case of people having more money than sense these days. If economic hard enough times ever hit, these suckers would discover they could do just fine without any of the stuff on the list, and their life would be richer for it. Which comes back around to the same old real problem, these suckers don’t have a meaningful life and they don’t know how to find one. Is it just me or is it that the more prosperous a country or society becomes, the more suckers there are, and the more everyone is a sucker for something.

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