Earlier this month I was listening to a podcast while unpacking. The guest was Will Storr and I thought, wait-the book they are talking about is familiar… I reached for the next box and this book was sitting there on top like an old friend waiting for me to be ready to read it. I guess it’s time.
Considering this book was published in 2017, it is surprising how relevant it still is. This book is for anyone who has ever wondered where our “selfies” and “individualism” ideas and behaviors come from, the impact of over-praising and cocooning children, and why we accept fakery as real. It does so in a concise way that won’t bore you to tears. I have certainly read books and articles that go more into detail but this format makes it easy to recommend. I am purging my bookshelves but this is one I will be keeping.
Trigger warning for sensitive souls. The first “chapter” is called ‘The Dying Self’ and it starts by questioning the nature of suicide. Cutting is briefly discussed in ‘The Special Self’. However, every parent, educator, and policy maker should not go out of their way to skip it.
This book is suppose to be a conversation piece.
It is written to allow you to come to your own conclusions. Storr could have written this as a modern spiritual movement that could revival Ayn Rand’s work . But then that would make him a hypocrite. He concludes the book with 2 very simple and powerful ways we can move society and our communities in the right direction, on pg. 328-329. However if this is not enough,the previous sections have “teaching nuggets”, or at least things you can focus on, that can help you make a better decision.
I noticed there are some references to people and events that younger generations might not get. Fell free to stop and do a quick search to understand the context.
In general I think people who were displeased with how the book concluded, were upset or disappointed because they wanted to be told how to make the changes. We have been conditioned to rely on someone else to show us the way, the right way to do it. When you reach the end, you feel you are ready to put something in action. If you read straight through and don’t give enough time to yourself to absorb some of the things said, you will reach the end with some strong conflicting emotions.
In the end the answer and the solution is simple, because the actions themselves require great courage.
What about you? What are you reading this month?
My review & rating on Goodreads: 5 of 5 stars