Ambitious and wide-ranging, The Selfish Society reveals the vital importance of understanding our early emotional lives, arguing that by focusing on the attention we give to our young children we can create a better society. Open any newspaper, and what do you find? Violence and crime, child abuse and neglect, expenses scandals, addiction, fraud and corruption, environmental melt-down Is Britain indeed broken? How did modern society get to this point? Who is to blame? How can we change? We have come to inhabit a culture of selfish individualism which has confused material well-being with happiness. As society became bigger and more competitive, working life was cut off from child-rearing and the new economics ignored people’s emotional needs. We have lived with this culture so long that it is hard to imagine it being any different. Yet we are now at a turning point where the need for change is becoming urgent. If we are to build a more reflective and collaborative society, Gerhardt argues, we need to support the caring qualities that are learnt in early life and integrate them into our political and economic thinking. Inspiring and thought-provoking, The Selfish Society sets out a roadmap to a more positive and compassionate future.
Steven R Covey’s bestselling The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was a landmark book in the world of self-help publishing as it introduced readers to a concept of life, both personally and professional, which encourages subtle and steady changes in the way people deal with the world around them. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families, Covey takes those same habits–be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think “win/win”, seek first to understand and then to be understood, synergise, sharpen the saw–and transposes them onto possibly one of the most complex and confusing relationships that a human being is ever likely to encounter: the family. When you bear in mind that whereas we have at least some opportunity for choosing our friends, our lovers and, to a certain extent, our work colleagues, we have little or no choice in the matter when it comes to our families, so trying to apply the “Seven Habits”, which may have already helped to improve other aspects of your life, to this particular arena is no mean feat. However, with his customary aplomb and insight, Covey forces his readers to look in the mirror and face up to the consequences of their actions in this most delicate of areas, and comes out with a formula that will gradually help to move even the most dysfunctional of families through the stages of simple survival to a sense of stability, on to success and finally, and most importantly, to significance.