i’ve been thinking about the difference between the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. the résumé virtues are the ones you list on your résumé, the skills that you bring to the job market and that contribute to external success. the eulogy virtues are deeper. they’re the virtues that get talked about at your funeral, the ones that exist at the core of your being — whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed.
most of us would say that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé virtues, but i confess that for long stretches of my life i’ve spent more time thinking about the latter than the former. our education system is certainly oriented around the résumé virtues more than the eulogy ones. public conversation is, too — the self-help tips in magazines, the nonfiction bestsellers. most of us have clearer strategies for how to achieve career success than we do for how to develop a profound character.
photo: iphone | austin, tx
words: david brooks | selection from “the road to character”