Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brooks: It's Not About You

David Brooks has an excellent op-ed piece in the NYTimes regarding the narcissistic message that most graduates will hear these days.  He says,
Worst of all, they are sent off into this world with the whole baby-boomer theology ringing in their ears. If you sample some of the commencement addresses being broadcast on C-Span these days, you see that many graduates are told to: Follow your passion, chart your own course, march to the beat of your own drummer, follow your dreams and find yourself. This is the litany of expressive individualism, which is still the dominant note in American culture.
But, of course, this mantra misleads on nearly every front.
College grads are often sent out into the world amid rapturous talk of limitless possibilities. But this talk is of no help to the central business of adulthood, finding serious things to tie yourself down to. The successful young adult is beginning to make sacred commitments — to a spouse, a community and calling — yet mostly hears about freedom and autonomy.
 And he concludes his piece,
Today’s grads enter a cultural climate that preaches the self as the center of a life. But, of course, as they age, they’ll discover that the tasks of a life are at the center. Fulfillment is a byproduct of how people engage their tasks, and can’t be pursued directly. Most of us are egotistical and most are self-concerned most of the time, but it’s nonetheless true that life comes to a point only in those moments when the self dissolves into some task. The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.
And I say, "Amen."

But, who has ears to hear among both the graduates and the culture who has discipled them to believe that "the self is the center of life?"

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Thank you for sharing your faith...hoping to find alot of Christian sites so that I can build a list of referrals for others, to avoid the bad blogs ( actually came across a naked man one day and when I tried to complain...they said as long as he was not doing anything, nothing could be done!)