Review of 20 Something Manifesto
by Christine Hassler
Review by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
In 20 Something Manifesto, Hassler takes on the “big” issues -- self-identity, career, love relationships, money, friends and so forth -- the whole caboodle. These are lifelong issues. You certainly confront them in your twenties decade. If you solve some in your twenties, great. If not, you'll revisit them throughout life until you solve them. And, some need to be addressed more than once because circumstances change -- e.g., considering the divorce rate, some of us will face the issues of dating and finding a spouse more than once. Moreover, some are continuing processes throughout all your decades, such as the task of making relationships work.
The author offers realistic, compelling descriptions and in-depth analyses of the issues as seen in the many forms in which they appear in actual life.
What makes Hassler’s book fresh, readable and very useable is the method she employs: she publishes the experiences of scores of 20-somethings, in their own words, from their own perspectives, colored by their own values. Even better, she has them write “declarations” at the beginning of their stories -- that is, you can see the “moral of the story” up front.
She also speaks to each of the issues exemplified by the stories from her own experience and her own training. Then she offers some advice and/or techniques for dealing with the issues yourself. All that makes it easy to scan through the book to pick and choose the issues most relevant to you. You can read the book in the order that works best for you.
Note that not all of the contributors have solved their issues. But those that don’t have possible solutions to offer you have developed insights that may well lead them, and perhaps you, to those solutions. Or if there is no solution, the insights may lead to a viable way of accepting and living with the circumstances.
The author’s use of contributors’ stories gives an impression of a lively dialog going on in the book. It moves and flows like a live participative seminar, making it easy to read and giving impetus to your using the various techniques and exercises immediately.
The author started the book in her own late twenties, so her experience is with the issues as they relate to current 20-somethings. Nevertheless, since the issues are timeless, many folks in other decade ages can learn to resolve some of the issues that they couldn’t handle in their twenties. Parents of 20-somethings can learn much about how their adult children think and feel and what are their concerns. Employers of 20-somethings can gain insight into their employees’ behavior and motivation. Therapists and coaches will find it a valuable reference. Everyone will find it a good read.
(If you want to know more, Christine Hassler has a website supporting the book and her practice at http://www.christinehassler.com/, complete with podcasts, a 20-Something blog and a newsletter.)