Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review: The Road to Character by David Brooks - Non-fiction

The Road to Character takes the reader on a journey of re-discovery of the practical meaning of character. The author, David Brooks, lays the foundation in the first two chapters by describing the “tug” between Adam I and Adam II; the former is the competitive self while the latter is the inner self who builds character. The details are outlined through in depth research that takes the reader into prolific examples of exemplary leaders who are prominent and not so prominent.

The author vividly describes how these leaders take action and do what is right for those who are powerless and have a vocation to serve others. The reader is taken into the nuances of how these leaders build their character by "winning over their weaknesses." It is while this person is in this place of weakness that takes him or her into higher moral virtues that make them act appropriately in the service of others. The author portrays the rationale into how these leaders transformed; either through loyalty or a call to service while at the same time ignoring the needs of the self. The author portrays their stories in a compelling manner.

Throughout the book, the reader is faced with the hurdles of building a strong character and yet the author illustrates enough examples of how some ordinary and not so ordinary people make it their mission to serve others first while sacrificing their own needs and desires. The reader learns how these people are self-fulfilled in their service to others. There is more to life than solely concentrating on the pursuit of wealth and prosperity.

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