The Road to Character

During this week’s historic visit to the U.S. by Pope Francis, I am reminded of one of my favorite New York Times Op-Ed pieces by David Brooks, author of the popular novel, The Road to Character. 

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He begins, “About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.”
He goes on to observe that, in this world, there are “two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful.”

As we kick off the frenzy of another recruiting season, it is refreshing to remind ourselves that while the résumé virtues are important to career success (so please do come to Career Services and get your resume perfected!), so are “the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light…and inner character.”

I hope you have a wonderful semester and look forward to your feedback.

By Susan Sandler Brennan
Susan Sandler Brennan Associate Vice President, University Career Services Susan Sandler Brennan