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The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral…
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The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (vuoden 2019 painos)

– tekijä: David Brooks (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
352756,204 (3.64)-
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world. "Deeply moving, frequently eloquent and extraordinarily incisive."--The Washington Post Every so often, you meet people who radiate joy--who seem to know why they were put on this earth, who glow with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed what we might think of as a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness. But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view . . . unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn't my mountain after all. There's another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain. And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment. In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity and beauty of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose. In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it's also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme--and in the process we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:writemoves
Teoksen nimi:The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life
Kirjailijat:David Brooks (Tekijä)
Info:Random House (2019), 384 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):*
Avainsanoja:non-fiction, store-purchase, psychology, morality, purpose, second-mountain, self-improvement, marriage

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The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (tekijä: David Brooks)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
----UPDATE:
Well, I listened to it again, and I liked/appreciated it even more the second time, hence 5 stars. It would be a great book for high school seniors. He is asking the big questions: What is the point to life? How do we get there? What keeps us from it? His advice for considering a job/vocation, a spouse, and a faith is all fantastic. I wish I could have understood a quarter of the advice/insights when I was first making those big decisions. And, the metaphor of two mountains in life is profound. It's referenced and alluded to all over, but I don't feel like many young people hear it. At least I never did.

A few more critiques/frustrations: I did think his section on commitment to community is lacking, especially compared to his faith exploration in the previous section. And despite his insight into marriage, it feels like he exalts the falling-in-love experience on a precarious pedestal. How often do people really experience what he describes?

That said, a wonderful second read, one I will recommend to others.

----FIRST REVIEW:
If you were to think of life as a metaphor, climbing two mountains is pretty good. The first, according to Brooks, is that of the individual striving of self - building the necessary ego - of success and self-discovery. Our culture (in the West and particularly the US), exalts and honors those on this first mountain - movie stars, the rich, the successful. Money often follow first mountain accomplishments. But one's life, if lived well, must summit the second mountain of giving yourself away in service to others. The ego must dissolve as we move from focus on self to focus on others. The book continues to say that this second mountain experience is found not through self-discovery but making commitments: to vocation, spouse, a faith/philosophy of life, and community/neighborhood. In the final chapter - the chapter I found most compelling - is a manifesto: The Relationalist Manifesto, offered as an antidote to today's cancer - hyper-individualism. And you can read it on his website here.

This is the type of book I really appreciate, partly because of its sheer audacity and breath of vision, and that's part of the reason I didn't like it. He is asking great questions. How do we think of and live out the whole of life? What malady most ails our society? What is life's ultimate meaning? And most of all - I think the question that under-girds the entire book - How do we live well? Some would argue that the whole premise is a futile attempt, but I disagree. These are the hard, impossible-to-answer-but-so-important-we-try questions. Brooks soars at the 35,000 ft perspective on life and then zeros in on the four commitments to vocation, marriage, faith, and community, offering practical suggestion for each, to then zooms out again for his concluding manifesto.

Confession: I liked the book before reading it because the overall premise was confirmation bias… There is a time for exploration and discovery, but as we mature we (should) move toward commitment and depth, rather than breadth. Second, it comes as no surprise that Brooks is an excellent writer - clear, eloquent, and poetic at times. He provides ample wisdom to wrestle with and savor.

However, my overall gripe with the book was I felt its overall structure was choppy. The transition from the second mountain to the 4 commitments didn’t flow evenly. It felt almost like 2 books loosely connected, or maybe even 1 book with 4 longer essays. That being said, I hope to some day read it a second time. ( )
  nrt43 | Dec 29, 2020 |
I enjoy the PBS "Shields and Brooks" commentary on Public Television on Fridays. Brooks is a conservative writer for the NY Times and a moderate spokesperson on political issues. But Brooks takes on personal identity and growth in this book. In essence he argues that our isolation away from neighborhoods and our emphasis on personal gain has undermined the social fabric of the U.S. and has caused the wide polarization under which we suffer today. Using examples from both Jewish and Christian culture, Brooks makes his point and outlines how some have found ways to overcome these afflictions. Basically, united we stand, divided we fall.

The book is well written, well documented and well worth reading to help soften our divide. ( )
  mldavis2 | Mar 22, 2020 |
Really thoughtful book by a conservative writer I admire, though I often disagree with his politics and economic thinking. But this isn't a book about politics. It's about how to find moral purpose in our lives, and it's filled with compelling stories about people who have devoted their lives to various causes. Brooks's primary argument is that our culture has grown to individualistic and focused on achievement. Moral purpose emerges, he maintains, when we learn to think of ourselves as embedded in communities, when we allow ourselves to be called to causes that are unrelated to achievement or recognition. It's beautifully written, and I also appreciated the universe of references to other writers and thinkers that Brooks introduces. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 23, 2020 |
Dad gave me this book for my 40th birthday. Basic thesis is that a better way to life is enmeshed in commitments to a vocation, a spouse, a religion, and a community, rather than in pursuit of individual attainment. The book was an easy read, and I agreed with most of it before I read, but I did enjoy his voice and his journey through the book. However, I was a but put off by the fact that is second wife is 23 years younger than he is and was hist research assistant. The book gives no reason to doubt the sincerity of the relationship, but the history of such october/may marriages kept coming back into my reading of the book. ( )
  jcvogan1 | Dec 1, 2019 |
Summary: A book on our life journey, from the first mountain of individual achievement and success to the second mountain of rooted commitment to relationships and service.

New York Times columnist David Brooks has been on a personal journey and this book reflects that journey five years on from his earlier Road to Character in which he describes the movement from resumé virtues to the eulogy virtues that describe a life of character. In this book, Brooks develops a further dimension that his first book did not focus on, perhaps because Brooks himself was not focusing on it--that dimension of our commitments and our relationality. He continues to think about the moral life, and particularly the idea of moral ecologies, a way of being, believing and behaving shaped by our context. What he contends for in this book is a thicker moral ecology shaped by relational commitments rather than what he sees as the hyper-individualism of our contemporary culture.

This is where the two mountains comes in. The first mountain is the individual journey focused on self-realization, personal achievement and success. It operates in a moral ecology of self buffered from others, a focus on one's own feelings, one's own god, a privatization of meaning, a dream of freedom and a central focus on personal accomplishment.

Often it takes the experience of the value of failure, suffering, and pain to awaken us to the second mountain. Often the valley is a crisis of meaning, increasingly, it is the experience of intense loneliness. Brooks talks about the valley, and its companion, the wilderness, where we listen to our lives.

He then speaks about the second mountain, which represents the committed life. He focuses on four commitments, giving a section of several chapters to each. The four commitments he writes of are to a vocation or calling, to a marriage, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. For each, he describes, not a moment, but a process of realization and development. He offers help in discerning a vocation, which sometimes comes down to saying "yes to every opportunity." He gives sound principles for the growth of intimacy, including whether you really enjoy talking to one another, and can envision enjoying that for a life. I love his description of marriage as "the school you build together."

His discussion of philosophy and faith is the section that seems most personal and occupies the most space. He describes his own spiritual journey both away from the mixed Jewish and Christian influences of his youth and his return, significantly through the influence of his research assistant, Anne. He writes of her:

"Anne answered each question as best she could. She never led me. She never intervened or tried to direct the process. She hung back. If I asked her a question, she would answer it, but she would never get out in front of me. She demonstrated faith by letting God be in charge. And this is a crucial lesson for anybody in the middle of any sort of intellectual or spiritual journey. Don't try to lead or influence. Let them be led by that which is summoning them" (p. 239).

So where did he end up, for those who wonder? He describes himself as "a wandering Jew and a very confused Christian, but how quick is my pace, how open are my possibilities, and how vast are my hopes." It also turns out that after several years apart, he and Anne, a Wheaton College graduate and committed Christian, married.

In his final section, he talks about commitment to community, to restoring the kind of communities where people have a sense of belonging to and being responsible to and for each other. He has critical words for programs focused on single problems rather than comprehensive approaches.

He concludes by proposing that the second mountain is the relational mountain, and offers a relationalist manifesto with enumerated points that serve to sum up the book. Everything but the kitchen sink is here, a grand sweeping vision for the second mountain life.

As I read this book, I felt both a deep resonance with much of what Brooks writes and that he was trying to do so much that I found myself wondering at times, "what kind of book is this?" I did not find that it had as coherent a structure as The Road to Character. The lengthy sections on each of the commitments, each engaging, felt like stand alone pieces, each of which could have received book length treatments. I wonder less could have been written on each commitment and more on how the four commitments cohere, if not in every life, but in healthy societies.

That said, Brooks charts the journey into the second half of life well, of the commitments to be negotiated if one is to enjoy a rich and full, and not merely successful life. That he writes so personally and openly of his own journey into both faith and love is one of the most attractive and winsome elements of this work. The challenge he offers to the hyper-individualism of our culture is one worth considering. Will we recognize that we need one another? That may be one of the critical questions of our time. ( )
  BobonBooks | Jul 19, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world. "Deeply moving, frequently eloquent and extraordinarily incisive."--The Washington Post Every so often, you meet people who radiate joy--who seem to know why they were put on this earth, who glow with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed what we might think of as a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness. But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view . . . unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn't my mountain after all. There's another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain. And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment. In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity and beauty of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose. In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it's also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme--and in the process we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.

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