I am reading a book recently released by David Brooks titled, "The Road to Character." Brooks is well known as a columnist and for his commentary on NPR and the Sunday talk shows. He usually takes a conservative bent, but with this book he examines the notion of character and it has nothing to do with politics, yet in the current political climate in the United States has everything to do with politics.
He starts the book by looking at the two sides of people, one he calls the "resume side," which focuses on skills, achievements, and things you might boast about. The other he calls the "eulogy side," which speaks more to your character, the virtues at the core, like kindness, honesty, faithfulness, and other personal dimensions.
The book then profiles some amazing people who are known more for their character, the "eulogy side," than for their direct achievements. Brooks explores how they developed their deep character. Though he never once refers to our current politics, the book seems to scream out the importance of character over accomplishments, integrity over bragging, cooperation over competition.
As I digest the social impact of "The Road to Character," I salute David Brooks for bringing out this critical dimension of character in our development. In a time when we seem to think that people's accomplishments are the things that make them great, Brooks pushes us to look deeper at people. He reminds us that in the end it is the virtues of our character that really matter.
If your looking to find the things that really count in life, get a copy of "The Road to Character" and then think!