Do You Want to Change the World?

By | October 20, 2022

[October 20, 2022]  This is not an attempt at humor.  The question, “Do you want to change the world?” is the mantra of our Millenial generation (those born roughly between 1981 and 1996) but more broadly applied to anyone born after the Baby Boomers generation.  At the same time, Millenials are overprotected, raised by “helicopter” parents and (metaphorically) spending their lives in their parent’s basement.

Millenials are also those who want to change the world or at least they are the ones who most often say they want the world to change.

Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff are authors of an exciting book, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, 2018.  They show how three bad ideas are increasingly woven into American childhood and education.  They are: 1) what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker, 2) always trust your feelings, and 3) life is a battle between good people and evil people.  In the book, these ideas are referred to as the three Great Untruths and contradict basic principles of well being and ancient wisdom.

Perhaps it is worthwhile to take a step back and look at this idea of overprotected kids in the broadest way.  There is an epidemic of overprotective parenting.  It is helpful to ask why.  We can say that people today have far fewer children and we have them at a later time in our lives.  Those children are more precious to their parents, who are far less likely to take risks with them.

This risk avoidance ethos then begins to infect the primary school systems and eventually becomes a part of our higher education system.  The ramifications of this has begun to manifest itself in society and the results are not good.  To address the problem, no one seems to know what to do about it because, if it is driven by demographics, then it is a stubborn problem with no simple solutions.

Parents, by doing the “very best” for their child, strip away the tools, the equipment, the understanding their kids really need to make life worth living.  A classic at prominent colleges occurs when students struggle, the student has their parents come in and talk to the professor.  Or, they go off to a safe space and color in their college-issued coloring book.

The worst thing you can do for people who are struggling like these Millenials are doing, those who are anxious, is to overprotect them.  The literature is crystal clear.  What you do for them is gradually expose them – with their voluntarily consent – to increasingly threatening situations.  This is precisely the opposite of what today’s mental health experts are telling us.

No wonder they want to change the world.  They want to change it to a utopia where everyone is “safe” and protected and there are no risks.  Unfortunately, that view is suicidal.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

21 thoughts on “Do You Want to Change the World?

  1. Army Captain

    This article is an example of why I’ve been a fan of Gen. Satterfield’s blog and a reader for many years. Folks may think, hey this army guy just follows orders (a stereotype of military members).

  2. HAL2001

    Gen. Satterfield wrote, “This risk avoidance ethos then begins to infect the primary school systems and eventually becomes a part of our higher education system. The ramifications of this has begun to manifest itself in society and the results are not good. ” Very insightful and profound.

    1. Max Foster

      Hal2001, yes, and you and I get to read this for free and without any obligation. I do, however, recommend that we each buy a copy of his books. if you haven’t, go for it. The Amazon links are at the end of this article. And, then leave a review. That is how you support this website.

  3. Veronica Stillman

    Oh, before I forget, CONGRATS to Gen. Satterfield for publishing his newest book, “55 Rules for a Good Life.” I’ll order my copy today. I hear that it is a great book.

    1. KenFBrown

      The world cannot be changed by any one person but we all have influence. That is what is “eye opening” about Gen. Satterfield’s article. We said Fred.

      1. Dale Paul Fox

        This is the reason I keep coming back, everyday, to Gen. Satterfield’s leadership website. I’ve been a regular reader for a long long time now and it never gets tiresome. Always there is something for me to think, “wow” something new.

  4. McStompie

    I want to change the world but I want it done by people who are not ideologically possessed like the progressive anti-Western idiots that are rooming out side their parent’s basement.

  5. Laughing Monkey

    Rarely do you find a website that is good as this one gets. Oh, I just bought my book that Gen. Satterfield published last week, “55 Rules for a Good Life.” I hope everyone can get a copy and make comments here so we can all see what folks are thinking.

    1. Linux Man

      5 stars. 55 Rules for a Good Life is topnotch is GEN Satterfield wrote it.

    1. American Girl

      Old warrior, I almost peed my pants when I read your comment. Humor is just pro-American. I love it.

  6. Yusaf from Texas

    Another spot-on article from the fortified castle of Gen. Satterfield, who is manning the ramparts against political correctness and cancel culture.

    1. Dead Pool Guy

      Gen. Satterfield is not “nice.” He’s on target bombing the crap outta the cancel culture and smacking them everyway he can. This piece is about how Millenials have lost their way. And, in the past he explains how to overcome that problem. I’m not critical of you saying this is a nice article, just that it’s not about being nice.

      1. Stacey Borden

        North is a nice person. I’m sure DPG that you didn’t mean to drive him away. But your point is well taken.

      2. Dennis Mathes

        Yep, got that right, Dead Pool Guy. Right on! Oh, an old slogan from he 60s.

          1. Frontier Man

            Eek! Someone is making sense. Hold on for a moment, “No millenials allowed.” They will pee on themselves if they read this article.

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