Initially, Dolly Chugh’s book The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias makes it feel like another book about motivation, self-improvement, and some talk of equality. However, after reading it, there is a clear feeling that Dolly Chugh could do excellent psychological research and transfer human prejudices from the unconscious to the realm of awareness. It will impress even the most sophisticated readers since the author, with the help of her psychological education and experience, conducts many manipulations on human thinking and the habit of thinking comfortably.
The most valuable and significant part of this book is Part 1 because the author begins to describe the invisible opposition of builders and believers. Dolly Chugh, in her book, introduces readers to her concept at the initial level but already postulates a critical thought: “Believing in diversity and inclusion does not mean we are building diverse and inclusive organizations” (54). It is in vain to believe that we are talking specifically about building organizations such as Google or Microsoft, even though Dolly Chu’s ideas are considered relevant for these giants.
It’s hard for me to say which part of the book is challenging my social tolerance, but the whole text unambiguously overturns the concept of social tolerance. In addition, I am sure that this book is devoted not so much to issues of racial or gender injustice as, in general, to psychology and ethics (“How to Let Go of Being a ‘Good’ Person — and Become a Better Person | Dolly Chugh” 03:15–05:21). Chung postulates that “The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts” (105). Dolly Chugh, in her book, raises an important topic of the severity of moral responsibility, which it is appropriate to associate, perhaps even with the ethics of the 19th century.
Absolute social tolerance, in my opinion, lies in the active form of such an environment for the people around us. Many define social tolerance as caring and focusing on social intolerance (Chang et al., 167-168). However, Chugh claims that these words have nothing to do with real support (Chugh and Kern). In real life, minorities do not worry about the ethical guidelines of the majority, who, in turn, cherish them in their heads, trying to be just good (Danbold and Unzueta). Chugh’s idea is that is good for oneself, and oneself is of no benefit.
I would recommend using this book for the first year, but not for all faculties. Perhaps it will not be attractive to everyone, and not everyone will understand the essence of the problem that destroys the habit of human thinking. Although going to college, young people often face ethical and equality issues, so it may be a rewarding experience (“The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias | Dolly Chugh | Talks at Google” 09:56–11:07). As I finished reading this book, I remembered Hannah Arendt’s The Banality of Evil. I am not unequivocally sure that the connection between the ideas of these two women is obvious, but I think that Adolf Eichmann’s excuses based on the desire to be good can find a correlation here. Although this example looks immoderate and inappropriately cruel, Adolph Eichmann was not the builder Chugh is talking about. He had an illusory belief that his deeds would lead to a great goal. He had nothing but empty faith, but that’s what his excuses might sound like: wanting to be good.
In conclusion, I will say that I find this book interesting, but not easy for young people who are not used to reflection. This book breaks down the habits of thought and the habit of making excuses for your behavior with family, friends, and strangers. The path to inclusiveness turns out to be very difficult, and at its foundation lies the constant overcoming of oneself and one’s stereotypes and prejudices.
Chang, Edward H., et al. “Diversity thresholds: How social norms, visibility, and scrutiny relate to group composition.” Academy of Management Journal vol. 62, np. 1 (2019): 144-171.
Chugh, Dolly, and Mary C. Kern. “A dynamic and cyclical model of bounded ethicality.” Research in Organizational Behavior vol. 36 (2016): 85-100.
Chugh, Dolly. The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. 1st ed., Harper Business, 2018.
Danbold, Felix, and Miguel M. Unzueta. “Drawing the diversity line: Numerical thresholds of diversity vary by group status.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology vol. 118, no. 2 (2020): 1-24.
“How to Let Go of Being a ‘Good’ Person — and Become a Better Person | Dolly Chugh.” YouTube, uploaded by TED, 2018, Web.
“The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias | Dolly Chugh | Talks at Google.” YouTube, uploaded by Talks at Google, Web.