I enjoy listening to New York Times Columnist David Brooks both on NPR and as part of the Shields and Brooks pundit pair on the PBS Newshour. Brooks describes himself as a recovering secularist so the topic for his new book struck a cord with me. In “The Road To Character” he describes how each of us has what he calls “resume virtues” and “eulogy virtues”. For many of us we spend most of our life focused on those resume virtues to propel our career forward. However, after you are gone what really matters are what people will say about you and that will have nothing to do with how far you got in your career. It will come back to your character and how you treated humanity.
David Brooks admits that he only realized later in life fundamental words like grace, humility, and sin should be in the vocabulary of everyone. Although he doesn’t mention the character factory that is Baden Powell and Juliette Gordon Lowe’s legacies I still hear the ideals of Scouting in this interview. Scouting is an organization that promotes peace, service to others, and teaches virtues of self discipline through the Scout law. Mr. Brooks is a very respected journalist and political commentator. His purpose in writing the book is to plant a seed and give us living examples of people who overcame their own struggles to build character. Perhaps he hasn’t met many Scouts in his Washington politico circles but I have to think the Scouting movement has a few things to teach David Brooks on character building.
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