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The Coddling Of The American Mind

Pastor’s Bookshelf - Welcome to my bookshelf! Each month I will discuss a recent book that I’ve finished. This month I’d like to talk about The Coddling Of The American Mind

By Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

The subtitle of this book is “How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation For Failure.” Authors Greg and Jonathan both work in Academia and around 2013 they noticed a few startling trends in mental and emotional health of young people on college campuses. They wrote an article for the Atlantic in 2015 of the same name. The article became extremely prolific and led to the research and drive to make this book possible.

This is not a religious book in any way – but is rather a book about how our methods of engaging with people we might disagree with or who might challenge us are in trouble. It started with free-speech controversies at America’s universities, but it ranges far beyond that starting point. It gets into parenting styles, social engagement and the rising emotional and mental health problems of our young people.

The authors explore three “great untruths” which many people in our society accept as authoritative.

1. What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.

2. Always trust your feelings.

3. The world is “Us VS Them.”

These statements are not only very wrong, but actually indicate a lack of emotional maturity and secure and stable mental health. It may not be a book about religion, but the applications to our spiritual life should be clear.

I would recommend this book to anyone who cares about the next generation and how we can encourage healthy emotional development and strong mental health. It’s very well researched and well written. I enjoyed it immensely and I learned a LOT.


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