Book Challenge: The Coddling of The American Mind

Think before you speak. Read before you think. ~ Fran Lebowitz

I’m making progress on my 2019 book challenge. I’ve just completed book number 12 of 20. Goodreads is telling me I’m 1 book behind. I appreciate it wants me to keep on track, but it’s not the end of the world if I only make 19 books this year. I read because I enjoy it, but also because I consider myself a life long learner. I’m always interested in learning about a new perspective or idea. With that in mind, book number 12 was The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.

The author address three untruths:

  1. What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.
  2. Always trust your feelings.
  3. Life is a battle between good people and evil people.

I found the first and third untruths especially interesting. One of my personal mottos has always been, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And the reality of that is very little I face in life will actually kill me so my current struggles will make me stronger. I need to find the lesson I’m meant to learn. Life isn’t meant to be easy, boring or safe. It’s meant to be a struggle. That’s what makes it worth living.

The third truth was also fascinating. In our previous adventures, I used to work at an abuse hotline for the state of Texas. You learn pretty quickly life isn’t black and white it’s full of various shades of grey. People aren’t simply good or evil. Yes, I would agree there is pure evil out in the universe, but people and situations are not that simple. One has to sift through all that to reach one form of the truth. People aren’t boxes you can label and put on a shelf. They grow, change and evolve. Or at least you hope that’s what happens.

Image result for cats and books
I sure could go for some rain about now.

I really enjoyed this book. It was thought provoking and explained quite a bit of what I’m seeing in younger generations. I could go on and on about this book, but you really should read it for yourself and make your own observations. Here are a few concepts I gleaned from this book:

  • “Education should not be intended to make people comfortable; it is meant to make them think.”
  • “The principle of charity, which says that one should interpret other people’s statements in their best, most reasonable form, not in the worst or most offensive way possible.”
  • In the rising culture of safetyism, “We need to be preparing the child for the road, not the road for the child.”

If you’ve already read this, I’m interested in your thoughts. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Go out and see if your public library has a copy.

It’s been a bit toasty this week in the PNW. That means copious amounts of iced tea. My current favorite flavor to cold brew is one I found from Trader Joe’s. Watermelon mint just smells like summer. It’s cold and refreshing.

Ernie’s just chilling waiting for it to cool off.

What are you reading currently?

2 thoughts on “Book Challenge: The Coddling of The American Mind

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