Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Caution Emotions At Play.

Written by: on May 16, 2019

This week’s reading, The Coddling of The American Mind, written by Haidt (social psychologist and professor in New York University’s Stern School of Business plus Board Chair of the Heterodox Academy) and Lukianoff (president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) deals with the well-being of the “iGen” generation. The book deals with the lack of willingness with current college students to engage in the discussion of ideas they deem as unnecessary. Some critics see this as a letdown as they were expecting more of “free speech issues” book, but the authors themselves said this was not the primary focus of the book.[1]

I found this book to be beneficial from a leadership perspective but like others, a parenting one as well. The term microaggressions is a new one for me and brought clarity to the climate we currently live. Microaggressions are small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence, nonetheless.[2] While on the surface I can understand how this can happen because intent can sometimes be lost in communication, but as the authors pointed out, we are now seeing this at a level where because we do not agree with something we are now labeling it as aggression. I purposefully write “we” because although we are living in a postmodern world, humans cannot escape the fact that it longs from group norms. J. P. Moreland, an American philosopher, theologian, and Christian apologist explains that postmodernism

represents a form of cultural relativism about such things as reality, truth, reason, value, linguistic meaning, the self, and other notions. On a postmodern view, there is no such thing as objective reality, truth, value, reason, and so forth. All these are social constructions, creations of linguistic practices, and as such are relative not to individuals but to social groups that share a narrative.[3]

In this case, the “social group” is Gen Z or iGen as the authors have labeled them. With the rise of social media and instant voice to speak up or against anything it may same like we are doomed, but the authors point to parents to help these young people through the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy methods.

Research shows again and again that Gen Z is the most anxious generation to date.[4] If all behavior is learned behavior, the questions to ask next is, where did they learn this? This is where parenting help from the authors come in to play. As the world becomes more and more complex through the advent of technology parents in wanting to do the best thing for the kids inadvertently produce sheltered kids without critical thinking skills necessary to not allow emotional reasoning to overrun their thinking. David D. Burns’s defines emotional reasoning as assuming “that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are, i.e. I feel it, therefore it must be true.”[5]You do not have to be a psychologist or a certified emotional intelligence coach to understand that emotional reasoning from this understanding is not always true but for these young people it is becoming if not already the norm. As parents, leaders, and pastors, we must understand how emotions work and begin to take the time to teach our young people how best to manage their emotions so that their emotions do not master them.


[1] “Author Discusses New Book Criticizing Prevailing Ideas in Society and Higher Education.” Co. Accessed May 16, 2019. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/09/04/co-author-discusses-new-book-criticizing-prevailing-ideas-society-and-higher.


[2] Lukianoff and Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind, 53.


[3] J. P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit’s Power (Grands Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), 77.


[4] “Generation Z Is Stressed, Depressed and Exam-obsessed.” The Economist. February 27, 2019. Accessed May 16, 2019. https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/02/27/generation-z-is-stressed-depressed-and-exam-obsessed.


[5]  Burns, David D., and Aaron T. Beck. Feeling Good the New Mood Therapy. New Your: Harper Collins, 2009. See also, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/



About the Author

Mario Hood

Most importantly, I am married to the love of my life, Misty Hood, and I'm kept on my toes all day every day, by my son Dalen and daughter Cola Hood. I also serve as the Next Generation Pastor at Church On The Living Edge in Orlando, Florida, under the leadership of Senior Pastor, Dr. Mark Chironna as well as being a Youth and Family Life coach.

9 responses to “Caution Emotions At Play.”

  1. Andrea Lathrop says:

    Yes, Mario! I loved the sections on the great untruth of “if I feel it, it must be true”. It has already helped me in my navigation with my children the last couple of days. I want them to express their emotions and be able to locate them – accessing what self-awareness they do have and growing in it – so that they can evaluate it and determine if it is true or if following this emotional response will lead to the outcome they want. The power to choose differently is a beautiful thing and takes time to develop. There is a great connection between becoming more emotionally intelligent and our ability to not allow emotions to lead our lives. Thank you for your work for the Church and our kids growing up right now.

    • Mario Hood says:

      As I was reading on that section I keep thinking, Andrea will love this! It’s becoming clear to me that the more we “progress” as humans, the more we need to go back to the “basics” which are not so simple. With the focus on advancement those who understand the “human” will be the leaders of the future.

  2. Rev Jacob Bolton says:

    Mario, your last sentence is so powerful. I agree, we must teach our children to manage their emotions . . . a difficult, but imperative task. Thank you!

  3. Karen Rouggly says:

    Good post here Mario – so in depth. I love the aspect that you are working with from this book. I sometimes find that helping my kiddos navigate emotions is the hardest part of parenting. Emotions are already hard and teaching a small, often irrational, human to learn to to navigate a feeling is hard. You got me thinking more about how to support my boys in this season!

  4. Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Very thoughtful, well documented post tying together your proposed thoughts and sources. You really are killing this research toolset! Good job and thanks for the post.

  5. Mary Mims says:

    Mario, I think, the emotional reasoning connection is important and something I do not think of because I tend to be a little more logical. I wonder if parents inadvertently pass on their emotional reasoning to their children. I do think many parents also put too much emphasis on technology, that they are not helping their children navigate the emotional side. I guess that is what you are saying.

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