I truly wanted to “believe” in the message from this book. And perhaps, i might find truths in it.
To be honest, I am writing this review after having read less than 10%... not even all of the first chapter.
This is why...
1- Thus far, i have not read of any influence that embedded racism, inequalities re: housing, jobs, education have on behavior. It appears the author is inferring “all” we need is one unified movement that focuses on nurturance. While theoretically, nurturance makes absolute sense... to ‘unify’ our messages, we must first AGREE on what they are.
EXAMPLE- repeatedly, the author speaks of substance “abuse” (vs. “substance use”). The DIFFERENCE in terminology is striking... Research into substance use has lagged far behind other conditions because society preferred to believe people who used substances were morally bankrupt, vs. physically unable to abstain from addictive substances.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE- As I write this, Donald Trump has publicly refused to agree to the democratic process of election results. Despite HUNDREDS of prominent Republicans, including former WH staffers sharing their concerns over his leadership... one that is absolutely bereft of nurturance... HE HAS POWER.
In other words, while “prosocial behavior” as described in the beginning of this book is, indeed, a worthy goal... “antisocial behavior” appears to be what drives differences in politics at all levels. ... I am a retired teacher - I know that young elementary children observe the conduct of adults. Right now, it is the ANTISOCIAL behavior of politicians, law enforcement and capitalism that seems to maintain the upper hand. HOW DOES THE AUTHOR SUGGEST CHANGING THESE INSTITUTIONS? Just yesterday, a Louisville, KY Grand Jury essentially absolved three police officers from responsibility in a cold blooded murder. And this comes just weeks and months after murders by cops in other cities across America.
In essence, while science may have ideas for helping pregnant moms and disaffected teens... the real place where nurturance is needed and unmistakably absent - is in government at all levels.
Maybe, before I truly reflected on the perniciousness of white thinking, i could have read this and found it somewhat relevant. There is soooo much we need to “own” that goes well beyond ‘behavior’. I would suggest readers check out “Caste” in order to realize how castes in America have deeply shaped resulting behavior at all levels.