和Educated，When They Call You a Terrorist类似，Hillbilly Elegy也是一本作者在30多岁的时候写的自传。从他自己和身边人的经历出发，讲述了Hill People / working class whites community家庭和社会的一些struggle，其中有很多让我也回想到了Educated和When They Call You a Terrorist：破碎的家庭，家庭暴力，童年阴影对性格和自我认知的影响，毒品，一代又一代的悲剧……精力有限，潦草记录一下几个印象深刻的点吧～
- The grandparents are really interesting contradictory people: so tough and a bit lunatic (e.g. defending Jimmy after he got kicked out playing with unpaid toys in a CVS by threatening the clerk and throwing things off the shelf; physical violence and sometimes life threatening), yet positive influence on JD's life by being the shelter when he needed an escape from his dysfunctional nuclear family and promoting intellectual learning and growth. However, a lot of what JD's mom has become can probably be attributed to her childhood traumas, which leads to a next generation of dysfunctional nuclear family.
- Dysfunctional family relationship has crazy impact on the adults and the kids, yet it can be so common. Why? How can we get out of this vicious cycle?
- Dangerous mental beliefs:
- Self-limiting beliefs: e.g. Hill people ought to turn out miserable; If I turn out well, I'd be betraying my people
- Believing good fortune comes from 1) inheritance of good fortune or 2) gifts and talents = not believing the value of hard work and life can be changed. Intelligence is also different from knowledge (similar to a growth mindset)
- Blaming everyone but oneself: not realizing many bad fortunes are driven by one's own behavior; not focusing on what oneself can control and change; blaming others is easy. This is not to say there's nothing wrong with the system; Even if the system is completely functional or dysfunctional, individuals need to take their own responsibility
- How do people get into drugs and addiction? Why do so many people do that in certain parts of the country, and less so in other parts? If only a few people do it, it's likely something unique to their own circumstances. However, if so many people do it, there is something to say about the system, or at least some systematic change is needed: less so about late-stage intervention, and more so about prevention.
- The value of having people who care about you, brining positive influence, opening up your minds and network.
- Why JD was able to break out of the vicious cycle? Having people who cared and loved him (grandparents, sister, uncle / aunt etc, valuing education, joining the marine corps (physically and mentally transformed JD, made him know what's possible, instilled true hard work and grit, made him seen as a respectful adult, gave him a sense of community and identify, likely opened doors to other academic and career opportunities), and kicking off the positive cycles ever since.