Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
Author: Brian Russell
Publisher: Health Communications,
In the Introduction Doctor Russell states the following. (2015) “Perhaps chief among these lessons is how most bad endings—spectacular or not—could be prevented if only the people involved had made better choices earlier about their own behavior and about behavior they’ve tolerated from others.” Personally, I know he is correct on this statement. Regarding ADHD he offers this. “…ADHD diagnosis and psychotropic prescriptions for millions of academically challenged American kids, the vast majority of whom probably could benefit as much or more from some intensive behavior shaping by involved parents.” (p.5) I read about the vast numbers of children diagnosed with ADHD and ADD and find that overwhelming and would love, if I were a parent, an alternative to using those hard drugs. Furthermore, I am disturbed that we, as a society, gravitate to a drug for curing what ails us instead of seeking what has actually created the symptoms and treating the symptoms. Russell believes this can be changed is only we “…we need to reassert personal responsibility for our problems and their solutions.” (p.9)
Chapter one is titled But I’m Not Happy!. Doctor Russel notes how society has changed over the decades to where we now in schools have stopped keeping score and award trophies to ALL students instead of those who have achieved something outstanding as a means of not lowering the children’s self-esteem. (paraphrase, p.19, 2015) I know when I was growing up I made excellent grades and was still not on the Honor Roll. I have been to Honor Roll ceremonies at schools in the past decade and Russell is right every kid is on the Honor Roll. This is outrageous if you ask me! “…misguided adults are striving to prevent kids from experiencing self-esteem threatening feelings of being excluded.” (p.20) “Americas young…have thoroughly conflated the concepts of self-esteem and self-respect.” (p.23)
But I want_______! Is Chapter two. “But it’s not just that Americans want things--…it has become a culture that highly prioritizes instant material gratification.” (p.41, 2015) “..too often they feel they’re actually owed things.” (p.43) “..when one fails to identify one’s weaknesses, improvement, and therefore advancement, are difficult.” (p.46) “Human beings tend to be more prosperous and happiest when they make as much of themselves and earn as much of what they need and want for themselves as possible.” (p,66)
Russells “prescription for personal prosperity” is as follows: “Don’t commit any crimes, Don’t get addicted to anything, Don’t drop out of school, Don’t make a baby out of wedlock, Do delay gratification, do take personal responsibility for fulfilling your needs and wants in life, do be accountable, Do make a uniquely positive contribution to something larger than yourself.” (pgs.177-188, 2015) Overall, I’d say good advice.
I enjoyed reading this book and seeing the authors’ perspective on how society has changed, as well as, what we can do to get things back on track.