Headline May 02, 2015/ ''' THE {[HARD]} ROAD TO CHARACTER '''



HERE AT !WOW!, [Pakistan], -the World Students Society Computes-Internet-Wireless,  -the honour that belongs, also as ownership. to every single student in the world-

I continue to battle and in-turn get buffeted by high winds, when I ask the School, College and University heads for: ''The Road To Character.'' 

In these great and senior years of my life, nothing betters, for  -!WOW! and Sam Daily Times, than  ''Working in deadly earnest for  ''an older moral ecology''. 

So, I dedicate these lines to all the humans of the world with great character.

David Brook's  gift  -as he might put it in his swift, engaging way,  -is for making obscure but potent social studies research accessible and even startling, for seeing consistency- 

As the hobgoblin of little minds and for ranging as widely across the private domain as the public.

There aren't many writers on politics who will study  'emotional intelligence'' as closely as they do polls, and fewer still extol failure as enthusiastically as they do success.

Mr Brooks's flaws, as he he tell us with typical cheerfulness and ease at the beginning of his new book, are that '' I was born with a natural disposition toward shallowness''  and  ''I am paid to be a narcissistic blowhard. 

He is, in short, a near-ideal public commentator because he is happy to sacrifice complexity and nuance to spin a hyper-readable, lucid, often richly detailed human story that sounds far less shrill and ad hominem than most of the polarizing rants of the day.

In ''The Road To Character,'' he wriggles out of pigeonholes even more dramatically by delivering what feels like a very broad-brush, old-style commencement speech on the virtues of: sufferings, self-abasement and, truth be terribly told, a sense of sin.

The  ''comic sociologist''  who took and dispensed such provocative entertainment in his first two books,  ''Bobos in Paradise''  and  ''On Paradise Drive.'' turning a Tom Wolfean eye on the shock -bourgeois bohemians and the meaning of Trader Joe's-  is now working in deadly earnest to recover what he calls '' an older moral ecology.    

MR. BROOKS begins with sweeping overview of the nonintersecting worlds of moral logic and economic logic, as he has it, dividing us into an:

''Adam 1'' who seeks success in the world, and an  ''Adam 2,'' more deeply committed to character and an inner life.

A deeper problem is that all the eminences and ideals extolled are covered so hastily that a passage in chapter 8 will, again and again, clash with one in chapter 5. 

Hardly have we emerged from pages about the value of reason and self sacrifice than suddenly, out of nowhere, Mr.Brooks is serving up a {quite stirring} seven-page rhapsody to romantic love.

Minutes after we have been introduced to the charms of Montaigne and his unceasing examination of his whims and preferences, we're told that the host for self-expression is treacherous.

The columnist's grace is to avoid being predictable, but across the length of the book this can result in flagrant self-contradiction.

Yet every time I was growing tired either/or reductiveness, Mr.Brooks would disarm me with an unexpected fact or swerve. He begins his final chapter on today's ''Big Me''  sensibility by contrasting Johnny Unitas, the crew-cut-

Scrupulously invisible former gang worker whose Baltimore Colts made it to the Super Bowl in 1969, with his opposite number, white-shoed Broadway Joe Namath of the Jets. But where many of us would see this as a contest between the square gray '50s and the Summer of Love-

Mr. Brooks traces Mr. Namath's swagger back to the relived exhilaration of the years immediately after World War II.

Besides, he notes, the cult of self-esteem did have the happy effect of encouraging women, minorities and the impoverished to see themselves in the context of  possibility. For every blurred piety here  [We are all ultimately saved by grace''], there's a sentence that shames everything around it:

(''Philosophy is likely to be a tension between between competing half-truths'')

As it is, the author begins his book by saying it's an attempt ''to save my own soul.'' then leaves his soul to tremble between the lines as he affirms uncertainty with the certainty of a recent convert.

Two books ago. some readers may remember, he was carefully noting how calls to our  ''true loner self''   leave no time for sleep and Augustine's talk and original sin is   ''almost irrelevant''  in a  blue-skied  America.

Yet those high toned souls who turn away from his heartfelt sermon any be denying themselves real pleasure, for what Me. Brooks's  solemn, often troubled, some times infuriating work reminds us that there are-

Few newspaper columnists who are more fun   -and fruitful   -to argue with. Putting the book down, I realized that it had had never so excited Me as when I was convinced that it was wrong.

With respectful dedications to all the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Theatricality Of  Students Honours'''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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