Friday, October 18, 2019

A #Book Every #Writer (Everyone) Should Read Before They Die


The Coddling of the American Mind

(Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt)


 




I read an interesting book this week. No, it wasn’t an urban fantasy or a romance, but a book about lessons in life and how they relate to what is happening on our campuses today. This is not meant to be a political blog post, although I do believe the authors are spot-on about their observations throughout the book regarding the younger generations and colleges today.


While I was reading, I couldn’t help but notice that much of the book related to the life of an author/writer, particularly to the Notable Quote taken from the book (below in italics).


From the Authors' Amazon Product Page:

Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen?


NOTABLE QUOTE from inside The Coddling of the American Mind.


“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.


I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. 


Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.


I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.


And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.


I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others.


I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.


Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”



How do these points pertain to writers?

Haven’t we known the loneliness that writing brings?


Haven’t we lost many times in our endeavors to write that bestseller? How many times have we heard that, yes, one must write a terrific book, but one must also have a little bit of luck tossed in to make the big time? 


Some writers might possibly gloat over our failures while lauding their own success, and yes, sportsmanship is a hard lesson to learn, but it’s an integral part on our journey through life. 


It’s important to promote and brag about the new book you just released, but it’s more important to listen to others about the latest baby they released into the world too. 


And, like the last sentence in the Notable Quote above, all of these things will happen at one time or another in our writing/personal lives. Like the authors of The Coddling of the American Mind point out, how we benefit from them will depended upon our ability to see the messages in not only our successes but our misfortunes


If you have a chance to read The Coddling of the American Mind. There is a plethora of strong lessons about life within the pages. You can judge for yourself whether or not they also pertain to a writer's life.


Well done, Mr. Lukianoff and Mr. Haidt, well done.


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