Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Road to Character

I just finished reading NYTimes columnist David Brook's book The Road to Character. Check it out of your local library and at least read Chapter 10—the last chapter. It has such a wonderful outlook on the past, generational changes, and how to live your life. Here are a few precious quotes from that chapter:


“The things that lead us astray are short-term—lust, fear, vanity, gluttony. The things we call character endure over the long-term—courage, honesty, humility.”

“First there was the Greatest Generation, those members were self-sacrificing, self-effacing, and community-minded. Then along came the 1960s and the Baby Boomers, who were narcissistic, self-expressive, selfish, and morally lax.”

“Some parents unconsciously regard their children as something like an art project, to be crafted through mental and emotional engineering. There is some parental narcissism here, the insistence that your children go to colleges and lead lives that will give the parents status and pleasure. Children who are uncertain of their parents’ love develop a voracious hunger for it. This conditional love is like acid that dissolves children’s internal criteria, their capacity to make their own decisions about their own interests, careers, marriages, and life in general.”

“Humility is an awareness that your individual talents alone are inadequate to the tasks that have been assigned to you. Humility reminds you that you are not the center of the universe, but you serve a larger order.”

“Joy is not produced because others praise you. Joy emanates unbidden and unforced. Joy comes as a gift when you least expect it. At those fleeting moments you know why you were put here and what truth you serve.”


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Jason Harper said...

Your comment on parents narcissism is spot on and unique too. The kids should not be raised as an art project. I do agree on this point . Parents often want to project their dreams on their children and want them to be perfect as per their definition of perfection. Their are many childminding activities that can help kids to have healthy and positive mind set.

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