"The humble path to the beautiful life," is what David Brooks summarizes at the conclusion of The Road to Character. Here are the fifteen points of the Humility Code.
- "The best life is oriented around the increasing excellence of the soul and is nourished by moral joy, the quiet sense of gratitude and tranquility that comes as a byproduct of successful moral struggle."
- "The long road to character begins with an accurate understanding of our nature, and the core of that understanding is that we are flawed creatures."
- "We are also splendidly endowed."
- "Humility is the greatest virtue."
- "Pride is the central vice."
- "The struggle against sin and for virtue is the central drama of life."
- "Character is built in the course of your inner confrontation."
- "The things that lead us astray are short term . . . The things we call character endure over the long term."
- "Everybody needs redemptive assistance from outside."
- "We are all ultimately saved by grace."
- "Defeating weakness often means quieting the self."
- "Wisdom starts with epistemological modesty."
- "No good life is possible unless it is organized around a vocation."
- "The best leader tries to lead along the grain of human nature rather than go against it."
- "A mature person possesses a settled unity of purpose."
This section is filled with much rich material, wonderful quotes, and deep allusions to our moral tradition. I will be mining it for sermons, etc., for years.
I hope this series of blog posts on moral character in the midst of our current national catastrophe has been helpful in grasping what we must do in order to reweave the social fabric and restore the moral order.
"Out of Balance" was the previous post in this blog series.