The Selfish Society is a good follow-up to Sue Gerhardt’s ealier work, Why Love Matters. It reveals the vital importance of understanding our early emotional lives, showing that by focusing on the attention we give to our young children we can create a better society. We have, says Sue Gerhardt, come to inhabit a culture of selfish individualism which has confused material well-being with happiness, allowing young people to be surrounded with damaging, selfish and destructive images and ideals. We are now at a turning point where the need for change is becoming urgent. Sue proposes that we need to rediscover, develop and allow time for more empathic forms of parenting, to support the caring qualities that are learnt in early life. Then, as a new ’emotional literacy’ spreads, the culture of the family will become our wider culture and we will integrate new values into our political and economic thinking – helping each other when necessary and working through conflicts without violence.
This is an inspiring and thought-provoking piece of work which we believe is very appropriate for the time in which we find ourselves. The Selfish Society sets out a roadmap to a more positive and compassionate future.