AMO Systems Versus Eduction

By an Anonymous ex-Distributor

Here is a response to a post that answers a question I have never seen satisfactorily addressed. Please post this:

I am an Amway distributor. I can't believe the amount of time people spend worrying about how much the tapes, books and seminars cost.

In order to get a college degree today, it can cost several thousand dollars per year for tuition and then another few hundred for books. In the end, you have put four or more years of your life in to something that may or may not land you a job. How does that make more sense than investing in an Amway business?

I'll tell you how it makes more sense than investing in Amway. I have personally invested in both (in college for nearly 4 years, and in the System for nearly 15 years), so I feel I have some perspective to offer. Why does it make more sense to invest in college than in Amway? Here's why it did for me:

I could think of many more such analogies that show the idiocy of the statement: "how does that make more sense than investing in an Amway business?" but if it is not apparent by now, maybe a heavier dosage of Tape of the Week is needed.

The purpose of a college education is *not* so you can land a job. This is a common misconception about our educational system. "The university experience" is designed to give you a "general education" that surpasses in depth and dimension that received at the high school level. It also presents you with the opportunity to begin to design and contribute original works to your chosen field of endeavor, and continue that "stream of knowledge" that has allowed mankind to progress for countless thousands of years. If you want to get training for a job, go to a trade school --- you'll be better off. You may or may not get an immediate job after leaving your collegiate "home", but I find that if you pursue the calling with everything that is inside you, eventually the money will take care of itself. Either you will become good enough at what you do to attract higher forms of compensation, or your passion for your chosen path will serve as its own compensation to offset any "remorse" for not driving the latest cars, living in the nicest homes, or having a wallet full of cash.

I must say that the pursuit of my chosen career has done fairly well for us --- enough, in fact, to offset some fairly stupid financial mistakes along the way.

I also got one other thing from my pursuit of a degree (which I never got, thanks to the discouragement from countless tapes and speakers), and that is the ability to think critically. I can state that. without exception, I have never seen any beneficial results come from any enterprise which expressed hostility towards skepticism, and conversely, I have never seen one which encourages rational, critical thinking fail to provide positive results to its adherents. Man is designed to be a "thinking machine", and it therefore follows that any doctrine which curtails or discourages use of that facility will necessarily diminish any potential returns in direct proportion.

As an example of this, I must say that I was never exposed to a tape, or a motivational speaker, who encouraged me to engage in critical thinking about what I was doing every evening by drawing circles. I was encouraged to follow, follow, follow. Questions were not dealt with in an intellectually honest manner --- they were either treated with disdain, sidestepped, or ignored. In fact, people who thought as I did were derisively referred to as being overcome with "detailitis", that terminal ilness of the curiously inclined. This is one of the reasons why many regard Amway as a cult. In fact, this hostility towards intellectualism is one of the key identifying characteristics of any cult-like enterprise, be it religious, philosophical, economic, etc. In the case of Amway, this fear of intellectual inquiry has at its foundation the whole concept of "edification". For, if one's upline does not know the answers to questions posed to them (and many do not), being in a position of authority and leadership without having acquired the prerequisite intellectual, emotional, et al. maturity that goes along with such a position reduces their esteem in the eyes of their followers. In many Amway organizations, the concept of edification is distorted for the sake of expediency to equate financial success with total success. This is the most insulting consequence of the System --- the financially successful are equated to a higher order of being than those who are unsuccessful. It results in the destructive reduction in the self-esteem of those who do not, or will not, measure up. Plus, if many leaders were to act in an intellectually honest manner and critically examine their methodologies, structures, etc. they would of necessity have to revise them (since no structure is so perfect as to preclude improvement or correction) --- and this would involve an admission of error, which further erodes the pillars of edification. It is therefore no surprise that admissions such as "we are changing such-and-so because we tried it and found that it was wrong", or "such-and-so's criticisms are well founded - we never anticipated such an outcome, and must adjust our procedures accordingly" are seldom, if ever, heard. The irony here is that the vast majority of people are more than willing to tolerate a trial and error process of growth, but, since participants have no intellectual investment in the System (in the sense that they are given an opportunity to understand the rationale behind what they are being told to do), they will instead feel disillusioned and confused. This results in the high turnover rate so characteristic of any MLM --- people quit when evidence of the reality finally intrudes upon the dreams.

The day I finally quit the Amway business was the day that I returned to that base of intellectual honesty that I had established in those "rotten institutions" of higher learning so many years back, and realized that I could not be true to myself, my family and my peers and continue to promote the distortions and half-truths that have been well documented on this web site and countless others. I suspect that this is the same reason why many others with the so-called "detailitis disease" decide to quit as well. For such people are the thinkers of the world, and they are the true builders of the world as well (not the dreamers, as is often erroneously claimed). They hold in utter contempt enterprises in general which profess to offer nirvana at the price of intellectual suicide and ethical compromise in the pursuit of fame and fortune.

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