Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Road To Character

From Goodreads:
With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success, Brooks challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our “résumé virtues”—achieving wealth, fame, and status—and our “eulogy virtues,” those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed.

Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade.

Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.

“Joy,” David Brooks writes, “is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes.”

From me:
I had to read this for Book Club.
To be honest, I didn't want to read it.  I wasn't in the mood.  Then I forced myself to read it, because I have made a book club commitment to read all the books.  (that and plus I want to win the socks--see here
And then I was glad to have read it.

I am giving it 3 stars.
We don't read non-fiction much in book club, but when we do it always makes for great discussion.
I have not read Brooks' other books or his newspaper column, but I feel in this one, he was searching/researching the lives of great, alhto low-key, behind the scenes,  people, looking for what shaped their character.
They had many struggles and hurdles to get thru, but they managed to come out at the end... well--people of great character.
It was a spiritual book, but not overly preachy, if that is an issue for you.
It was worth the read.

*****************

And because...   I can't do a book club post without a few pictures...

In Lit Wits we always have dinner.
This night some great shrimp and pasta.
As always, a great evening.




And Because I am a WHIZ at all things technology...
I couldn't figure out how to get my phone off black and white!



Waiting on our drinks.
We always have a great cocktail to go with our book discussion.









1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, you are so much like me. I would do all of that to win a pair of socks that I could easily afford. I agree that nonfiction books make for a great discussion. I love that bright, cheery kitchen.

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