by Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt
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Three great untruths are spreading throughout college campuses, high schools and many homes. These untruths are rarely taught explicitly. Instead, they are conveyed to people by the rules, practices, and norms imposed on them, often with the best intentions.
The term anti-fragile describes things that have the capacity to not only tolerate stress but to flourish and grow as a result of it.
Everybody will face completely unexpected events. When we have limited exposure to unexpected events, we will likely find navigating them difficult. However, when our brain and cognitive processes encounter unexpected events, they learn to adapt and grow, making them more likely to navigate uncertainty successfully.
Parents and educators should help children learn and grow by letting them face risks and stressors, not shielding them from them.
Many colleges encourage students to indulge in these cognitive distortions:
“seeking out challenges (rather than eliminating or avoiding everything that “feels unsafe”), freeing yourself from cognitive distortions (rather than always trusting your initial feelings), and taking a generous view of other people, and looking for nuance (rather than assuming the worst about people within a simplistic us-versus-them morality).”
The principle in philosophy and rhetoric is that one should interpret other people’s statements in their best, most reasonable form, not in the worst way possible.
When you think that your feelings are real, you may believe that other people have worse intentions than they really do. This could cause you to see harmful behaviour in places that don’t exist.
A good hack is to try and see why someone said or did something from the most reasonable and well-intentioned point of view that you can.
University professors are generally left leaning in their politics, yet the percentage of professors who lean left has increased in recent years.
A more uniform group of people will cause a decline in the quality of scholarly research. Because they share a similar view, they won’t be as rigorous in potential counterarguments or the review of the quality of the work.
Parents have become overly concerned with the safety of their children. This has led to less free play, less independence and more fear instilled in children, which may increase the desire for safety provided by third parties for young adults.
Keeping children safe is important, yet trying to eliminate all risks in a child’s life can severely stunt their development, sense of independence, and ability to confront adversity.
“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."
The “dignity culture” is increasingly giving way to “victimhood culture.”
Acknowledge that children are anti-fragile.
Encourage them to have unstructured and unsupervised time to learn how to judge risks for themselves. They should get the opportunity to learn how to deal with frustration and disagreement.
Teach your children Cognitive Behaviour Therapy so they can learn to recognize and moderate the hallmarks of emotional and motivated reasoning.
Encourage potential changes to the local education system.
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Hammack lover. Especially with a good book in hand.
How good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation for failure
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