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Reader comment on David Brooks's passage ...

Eulogy Versus Resume Virtues


On May 25, 2015 david doane wrote:

I appreciate the distinction between eulogy and resume virtues that David Brooks points out, and his honesty in talking about himself.  I have been aware of the distinction, but not in the terms that he states so clearly.  I certainly think he's right.  Resume virtues are the skills I bring to the marketplace, and eulogy virtues are the ones talked about after I die.  I suppose both types are exaggerated for the occasion.  Maya Angelou said "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  I think eulogy virtues are what Maya Angelou is referring to by how you make people feel.  As Brooks says, resume virtues are about career success, and eulogy virtues are about your inner light and inner character, including qualities like kindness, honesty with self and with others, maturity, and capacity to love.  Henry James said, "Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind."  Kindness is an important one of those eulogy virtues.  A couple things that help me develop eulogy virtues are being around someone who lives them, and growing in realization that we are one which naturally manifests in eulogy virtues such as compassion and increased capacity to love.



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