I had a little debate last week
about the emerging trend of coaches coaching coachees
apparently, some people think that the self-help industry is but a symptom of the runaway system of late capitalism,
another iteration & manifestation of the technology-driven consumerist society,
and just like any other consumerist product it functions like a loop perpetuating itself by creating a need in people: a need–it is posited–to be successful, to “get” ahead, to be in control
admittedly, if you imagine a coach trying to coach people within a small village or community: there is something undeniably funny about that image..
the self-help industry appears to proliferate within bustling and “floating” metropolitan contexts
conceding these points a poignant question arises:
does self-help treat the (psychosocial) problems inflicted by a hyper-stimulating capitalist system
or rather exacerbate them by playing into/reinforcing its dynamics?
what seems valid about self-help in this account is the pivotal idea of being proactive (about one’s fulfillment), the fundamental element of movement implied, a kind of striving or anxiety about stagnation
but is this a valid point for dissing self-help?
isn’t the act of treating the active, success-anxious part of the equation (as opposed to a more “harmonious” and “organic” lifestyle) as unnatural and hubristic and cancerous and unsustainable a dualistic gesture itself? privileging one side (a kind of passive genesis) over another?
in my personal view,
self-help might be part and parcel of a “corrupt” or I should say runaway system but it is still helpful in guiding the individual to find a way to thrive within that context
a context that, for all intents and purposes, is natural
besides, in the final analysis, self-help is not about getting (at) and accumulating things at all, it is about sharing and giving
and it is not about control, it is about alignment