Book Club August Conclusion: Five Minds for the Future

by Diane Wolf in Blog, Book Club
August 29, 2017 0 comments


Here we are at the end of Gardner’s book, Five Minds for the Future. After discussing the disciplined, synthesizing, and creating minds, he moves to the respectful and ethical minds.

This book was written in 2007, but much of what he writes as a danger of not being respectful of all people is a frightening prediction of what we see today. He speaks of the dangers of not seeing all people as equal, and the problems of racism that he mentions are so current, I had to check the date on the book.

In talking about the importance of the ethical mind, he stresses that respect and ethics actually go together, as someone who is ethical will naturally respect other people, and someone who respects other people will behave in a way that is designed not to put themselves ahead of others if it causes problems for others. So why two chapters, and not just one? He clarifies that as well, as he notes that respect is something that can be taught to small children, and comes out of what one learns as a child, while ethics is more of an abstract judgement, and comes into play in adolescence.

When he discusses historical failures in these areas, I had to wonder if we have really come all that far. He goes back to Abraham Lincoln and his fight to end slavery, and Hitler, and his pathological lack of respect for people, and although it is easy to judge past societies, I felt a profound sadness realizing just how far we have left to go. Okay, I shouldn’t add my own commentary, but it did cause me to reflect.

In conclusion, he urges us to develop all five minds as he states, “We might deem as wise the person in the society who cultivates these minds in timely fashion and deploys each when and where it is most needed” (page 166).

I hope you enjoyed this month’s selection!

Fall is quickly approaching, and we’ll be reading Think Better by Tim Hurson for our September selection.

See you in September!



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