How's your inner life? Full of humility and moral depth? Um…no?
What does your résumé say about you? Now - what would your eulogy say about you? New York Times columnist David Brooks says there's often a yawning chasm between the two - and we have entirely the wrong idea about which set of virtues is more important.
Brooks seems to have it all: fame, money, a big-deal newspaper column. So why did he have this empty feeling inside? Simply put: it's the gap between the person he is and the person he'd like to be.
Brooks describes his job - as a pundit and columnist - as being paid "to be a narcissistic blow-hard." For the past few years, he's been fascinated by people who are not narcissistic blowhards. People who seem to radiate a kind of goodness - almost an inner light. So he set out to learn how they became who they are, and whether their path has any lessons for the rest of us. The resulting book is called The Road to Character.
Read an excerpt from The Road to Character by David Brooks.
In the book, he considers how we can move out of the shallows, and become a person of depth. He digs up old-fashioned words like 'obedience,' 'sin,' and 'virtue,' and he explores the lives of men and women whose strong moral character stand out: George Eliot, St Augustine, Dorothy Day.
David Brooks speaks to Mary Hynes in a surprising and wide-ranging feature interview, where they touch on reader hate mail, Bing Crosby, football, the moral obstacle course of dating, and much, much more.