David Brooks’ “Tree of Failure” Piece, Urging a Return to Modesty

Yesterday I wrote about my own self-deception and about how I had come to see that I have room for improvement in the ability to join with and hear others (and not just be a one-woman wolf pack who fools myself about my intentions and actions).  I also realized that I talk about doing more than I do.

The musings that preceded and followed that posting were set aflame by reading a wonderful piece by David Brooks in the New York Times. Be sure and read it.  And then I wish we all could sit down and talk about it.

Here are a few thoughts I had about it:

  • I like it that he used the word “sin.”  It’s largely absent from public discourse.  It shouldn’t be.
  • Amen to “The truth is fragmentary and it’s impossible to capture all of it. There are competing goods that can never be fully reconciled. The world is more complicated than any human intelligence can comprehend.”
  • I love the idea that sensible people with a modicum of modesty know that their work is improved by others’ collaboration, that we are all ennobled and improved by the ongoing conversation, conversation that should be relished.
  • And I love this: “In a famous passage, Reinhold Niebuhr put it best: ‘Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. … Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.'”

How about you?  What do you think?



~ by Cary on January 15, 2011.

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