It is increasingly difficult to stay grounded in a super fst-pcd (not a typo, I intentionally left out the vowels to make a point) world that we live in. I speak from experience on that statement. I find that the best way for me to stay grounded and centered in a world of breaking news is to breathe, read the Word and read a good book and integrate through prayerful contemplation.
Recently, I have held out two books that might be able to help you discern the times and find your place in it with social commentary and a plea to develop deeper commitments. Two things that I am interested in. So here is an unusual post about two highly recommended books for the pool or your vacation reading. I have always held up the notion, “that leaders are readers.”
The first is a book by NY Times op-ed writer, David Brooks. In his newly released The Two Mountains: The Quest for a Moral Life, you will be encouraged to sip a cup of your favorite summertime beverage and savor the moment of what is really worth your time and efforts for the short years you have on the earth. Is it career, success, to make your mark or to pursue personal happiness or a life that is other-centered and the embrace of a life that is interdependent verses independent?
This book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives by surrendering our lives to four basic commitments: a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, social solidarity and love. This is a new year book in the middle of the summer. It is a take stock and recommit or surrender for the first time to four primal commitments. Take the Second Mountain Challenge, this summer and Dare to Wonder.
The second book is another barrier breaking seminal work by San Diego State professor of psychology Jean Twenge. In her iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and completely Unprepared for Adulthood and What That Means for the Rest of Us, (that’s a mouthful) you will receive kudos and a new type of challenge that we have never encountered before in child-rearing. This is the first book that takes all of the available research on those born after 1995 and puts them together in a very readable and accessible format that will inspire, provoke and challenge all of us who are paying attention and really care about the common good.
This generation grew up with cell phones, had an Instagram page before they started high school, and do not remember a time before the internet. They are iGen. Dr Twenge drawing from over 11 million respondents over multiple decades delivers surprising attitudes toward religion, sexuality and ethics as well as unprecedented levels of anxiety and loneliness. As this new group of young people enter adulthood, parents, educators, leaders of organizations and employers have an urgent need to understand them (just when we thought we were starting to get a handle on Millennials-Yikes!). Because where iGen goes, so does the nation—and the world.
Have a great summer and enjoy the reading.