A generation full of lost character
Greetings from the Ridge.
Now and again I’ll read something that just jumps off the page and smacks me in the heart. Such was the case as I was digesting a new book by New York Times writer David Brooks. He titled the work “The Road to Character,” a study of what’s happened inside our hearts and minds in America during the past decades. The opening chapter got my attention as Brooks told of driving home from work one day listening to World War II veterans being interviewed about their service. These men and women had faced enemy gunfire for two, three or four years in our country’s defense and had somehow lived into their eighth and ninth decade. Brooks noticed their modesty. “Well, it was what we had to do,” and “I figured it was my duty,” and “Not that big a deal... we just did it.” Then the writer got out of his car, went into his house and turned on his TV set where an NFL football game popped onto the screen. A running back had just caught a pass, ran twelve yards for a first down and was tackled. The guy jumped up, pointed to himself shouting, “Me! Me! Me!” as thousands cheered. Brooks said the contrast in the two events was one of the shocks that caused him to write the book. What’s happened to our character?