I’m starting what I perceive to be a great book.
The title grabbed me: You are NOT Special and Other Encouragements. The author, David McCullough, Jr, gave a commencement speech that went viral a few years ago, and that birthed the book, published in 2014.
In the forward, he writes:
“Today’s teenagers are, too many of them, unwitting victims of their parents’ good intentions – or passive agents of their parents’ vanity, or pawns to their parents’ insecurities, or anxieties, or limited imaginations. They’ve become showpieces in an arms race to impress admissions officers, and thereby the Joneses, and perpetuate the legacy of privilege…Too often, though, their privileges are unwisely expended, in my view, and serve to promote, however inadvertently, swelling narcissism, assumptions of entitlement, superficial and/or robotic thinking. Empathy withers. Maturation is slowed or halted altogether. Self-reliance dies in the bud. And the anxious parent feels compelled to intercede once again.“
Yup. At the risk of sounding racist; if I were to read that quote four decades ago I would have thought of my Korean/American friends (as well as other newcomers to the so called “American dream”).
Now…sadly…it is applicable to all.