by Richard M. Eyre
GLENN: Welcome to the program. From midtown main hat an, third most listened to show in all of America. If you are new to the program, I thank you so much for listening. We're kind of a weird program. You know, the show is actually based on watching my family at dinner. You know when you have all the relatives over. So it's very, very dysfunctional and, you know, I watched it sometime. It was on Thanksgiving. And I thought, you know, nobody says you have to talk about politics. Nobody sits down at the dinner table and says, okay, we're only going to talk about politics. And that's what talk radio usually does. And I have to tell you something. I'm sick of talking about politics. I want to talk about principles. But nobody says, we can also only talk about movies or we can only talk about, you know, your life or we can only share stories and happy stories and no sad stories. That's just not the way people are. And so this show was designed to be more like real people, you know, and just, you ain't ever going to hear me say that I'm right all the time, although -- no. And I'm also an extraordinarily flawed host, I'm making it up in many ways as I go along and I will tell you, boy, did I screw that one up, boy did I get that one wrong. Boy, I changed my mind on something. And so I look for things like that. And there's a new book that is out, and it's -- we'll explain later. It's hard to get because he's an unconventional kind of guy but a guy that you heard of before most likely. His name is Richard Eyre, and he is the guy who wrote "Teaching Your Children Values," and this was a huge -- in fact, I believe it was the only book to be number one for parenting since Dr. Spock's book on the New York Times. Is that right, Richard?
EYRE: That's right, Glenn. And by the way, I write my books by watching my kids around the dinner table, too.
GLENN: So -- but you've got a reason for it.
EYRE: Yeah, I've got a reason.
GLENN: So you've written that, et cetera, et cetera. But you wrote a book called The Three Deceivers." And right out of the chute you say this book is really going to hack you off because it's going to take things that you think are valuable and important and we built our society around, and you got it all wrong. They are deceivers. And then you flip it around. I don't want to go into the truths of the second half at this point. I just want to talk about the three deceivers and I mean, if we can get all freaky Jesus on you, you wrote something that really stuck with me towards the beginning of the book where you said, "A big cataclysmic event in your life, something that really pounds you down into the ground, you know, the adversary, if you will, would never do -- doesn't like to do that because it leads people to become a Phoenix and rise from the ashes.
EYRE: Exactly, yeah.
GLENN: It's much better to what? Explain.
EYRE: Well, you know, I used to write self-help books, Glenn, and they were on life balancing, balancing your work and your family, trying to convince people of what the real priorities are. And I finally realized people don't need that. If you do a public opinion poll, people know that the family is the most important thing. They know that their character is what really matters and so on. The problem is we're affected with these attitudes or these subconscious goals where what we really worship, what we really idolize or control an independence and ownership. And I had an epiphany one day in a bookstore. I'm walking around in a Barnes and Noble self-help section which is a huge section and I'm doing a little tally and I'm finding that all these self-help books assume that we want is more ownership, more control over everything and everyone around us and more independence. We don't want to need anyone anymore. We want to just stand on our own and be stubborn and be independent. By the way, I saw a lot of these things in this Christmas Sweater. I think you and I are writing, in a way we're writing about the same things, these false goals that preoccupy us. They suck away all our energy, and we don't have any real mental energy left for the things that we say matter to us most.
GLENN: Right. You know, I was reading, when I was on the Christmas Sweater tour, one of the books that I was reading was your book and you are exactly right. When you start reading your book, I said, control independence and ownership? I said, okay, I want to be independent, I want to be able to control the things that I can control, you know, and control my own life as much as I possibly can. And ownership? Oh, what is this, some sort of commie book?
EYRE: Exactly, exactly. See, you can't attack these things. These are America. It's what we do in America. We control things. We own things and we become independent. They are like icons. They are like things we worship. And frankly, Glenn, they're great economic principles. I wouldn't argue with them for a minute. But we carry them over and make them spiritual principles. We measure ourselves by how much we own. We measure ourselves by how much we control. We get frustrated when we can't control things, even when we're talking about our own kids. We think we own our kids. We should control them, we should control the people around us, we shouldn't need anyone. And what we end up is we get more isolated, we get more lonely, we get more frustrated and we get more jealous because there's always someone that owns more than we do and controls more than we do and so, you know, they all lead us away.
GLENN: Give me the example, give me the case against independence.
EYRE: Well, you know, I mean, someone that says "I don't want to need anyone, I don't want to stand on my own," what is he really doing? He's saying I'm not vulnerable, I don't need any other people. I mean, we all know -- see, the thing is we can all see through these if we take the time to ask the questions. Are we independent or are we interdependent on everyone around us and are we independent of God, do we want to be or do we want to be dependent on God. We really don't even want independence when we really think about it, but the problem is we never think about it. We just say, oh, that must be a good thing; that's what we all want. And so is control and so is ownership. We don't take the time to question whether those are really the things that make us happy. In fact, they are the things that make us unhappy.
GLENN: Okay. So see, again you could listen to it because -- and Richard, when I read your book, when you started down some of these roads, I'm thinking, "Well, now, wait a minute. I mean, I do want to be independent." I mean, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
EYRE: Exactly, yeah.
GLENN: We are built and that's what our system is, that I can be independent, I can go some place and have, you know, my land, tame the land and I can succeed or fail on my own. I don't want this interdependence. It sounds to me like, you know, you are reading the book at the beginning that you are preaching, you know, a bailout kind of society.
EYRE: Isn't that the truth? And that's the reason frankly that we're going kind of slow with this book. It's not in every bookstore. We want to collect a lot of feedback, we want to get people into the idea that what we're saying is, look, these are three powerful economic principles; let's keep them forever. Let's never give up on them for our economy and for our private personal economies, but let's not carry them over to where they become our spiritual paradigms because they all lead us away from humility, they lead us away from a dependence on God, they lead us away from kind of a wonderful serendipity adventuresome kind of a life where we say, you know, I don't want to control everything; I want to just respond correctly to the things that surprise me every single day.
GLENN: Okay. Make the case. Because what we're doing with you, because I find this really -- I found your section on serendipity just absolutely mind-boggling. I had never heard this before. I just think it is one of the best things that I have read and it is so incredibly true.
EYRE: Well, serendipity, of course --
GLENN: Wait, wait, I don't want you to explain.
EYRE: You are getting into the second half of the book.
GLENN: I know, and I don't want you to explain. You wrote this book and you intentionally split it, and the other half of the book is upside down. And when you did that, I went, okay, clever marketing trick. However, when I was reading the early chapters, I don't know how many times I caught myself trying to go back to the back of the book just so see and not -- remembering that it's been flipped up and just like, okay, well, what's the other counterpart of this.
GLENN: Then I saw it upside down and I'm like, nope, read it the way he said to read it. And it is when you get to the place to where you are supposed to flip the book over, that's where it really makes sense. So I want to kind of do that in the same way. You are writing a series of newsletters for us this week and they all go on these, control, independence and ownership. What the case is against them and then what the, you know, what the three replacement values are.
EYRE: The alternatives, right.
GLENN: The alternative.
EYRE: I felt, Glenn, like you've got to -- these things are so entrenched, just the same reaction you had. No one picks the book up and says, oh, yeah, I was waiting for someone to spell these things of control, independence and ownership. Everyone does what you did. They pick it up and say, wait a minute, what on Earth is wrong with these things. These are what I strive for, this is what I teach my children. I felt like we had to debunk them and sort of, you know, strip away at them and convince people that they were contributing to their unhappiness and then, only then give a person the chance to actually flip the book over. So it has no back cover, it has another front cover and now you are going to read the three alternatives.
EYRE: Let me just quickly, because you pulled it out on the serendipity one. Serendipity, just a clue that serendipity is the alternative or the replacement for the idea of control. And quick story. I mean, I'm a Harvard business school guy. I had a professor there, my favorite professor, guy named Livingstone who had a mantra. He would walk into class every day and he would say, "Never be surprised. If you are ever surprised, it is because you failed to exercise sufficient contingency planning. You must be proactive. You must always act and never react." You get the idea. I thought the guy --
GLENN: Wait, wait. Richard, I have 30 seconds left before I have a hard network break. I tell you what, can I ask you to come back on the program tomorrow and -- at the same time and finish this story. Because serendipity alone is worth the price of admission.
EYRE: Absolutely. I want to --
GLENN: Can I have you back?
EYRE: Good, I want to explain what the alternatives are to your listeners.
GLENN: All right. And then also in the newsletter, the five days this week in the newsletter. It's absolutely free. He's written an essay. And like he said, you can't really get this in bookstores. But is it up on GlennBeck.com yet? There will be a link in the newsletter today. It is well worth the read just to open up your mind and shake the cobwebs off and challenge what you think you know, the road to happiness.