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Thoughts around a generation's journey to adulting...

“The Coddling of the American Mind” is an Important Read

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I want to use this post to call everyone’s attention to an important book… The Coddling of the American Mind. How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting a Generation Up for Failure – by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathon Haidt.  (see it here on Amazon)

This book unpacks how / why it is that SO MANY young people coming of age in the last 20 years lack confidence and self-reliance, are disinclined to engage with things that challenge them, and are afraid to claim their own adulthood. It’s a grossly obvious and alarming, deeply rooted macro-trend.   And this problem manifested – this thing happened – in just a generation. So something changed. As a culture we need to get it figured out and corrected quickly. 

The authors here present a compelling, specific, and well-documented argument around the things that have changed and how they (in combination) have altered the framework for how young people see themselves, each other, and society broadly. The narrative makes a ton of sense and while it is comprehensive it is also a straightforward read. I found the authors’ tone to be wise, thoughtful, and compassionate, but also clear-headed and intent on stirring urgent attention to this situation.  

Their message is also hopeful; the last section of the book presents specific things that can be done to correct this trend. The authors propose that this problem is broadly fixable at the societal macro level, and certainly, immediately fixable for families at the kitchen table micro level. 

I suggest this book is a “must read” for people who are concerned about the well-being and/or future success of today’s young adults – also for every parent, grandparent or educator who is trying to nurture the development of future generations. (If I had that magic wand I keep looking for, I would put it on the list that everyone between the ages of 15 and 35 would read.)  

Finally, I recommend this book as an immediate read for someone who is currently parenting or coaching a young person who is struggling on their journey into the adult world. It offers important and applicable perspectives for the concerned adult to consider. 

Anyone who would like to connect with me or explore these topics more is invited to visit my website at www.otoolecoaching.com

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Martin O'Toole

Marty is a great listener who asks a lot of curious questions. When he asks about your day or how you are doing, he really wants to know. And he comes equipped with a supply of anecdotes and stories that keep the time together interesting.

He is practical and results-oriented. He believes in showing up every day to do the work and learning by experience. He preaches action orientation, resilience, entrepreneurship, and the importance of good decision-making.