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.
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. 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.
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. 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.”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.
 “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.
 Lukianoff and Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind, 53.
 J. P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit’s Power (Grands Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), 77.
 “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.
 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/