A very special person sent me a TED talk yesterday given by David Brooks called â€˜Should you live for your rÃ©sumÃ© or your Eulogy?â€™ And after watching the State Funeral for Jim Flaherty this week, and then holding the most precious new-born baby, I couldnâ€™t help but think about the circle of life and what itâ€™s all about.
In the talk, Brooks discusses the difference between your rÃ©sumÃ© virtues versus your eulogy virtues. He references a philosophical essay called â€˜The Lonely Man of Faith,â€™ written by Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, which talks about the two sides of our nature. The first side, or Adam 1 as it is referred to, is the outward, worldly, ambitious side. The side wants to build and conquer, and savours achievement, innovation, and success. Adam 2, on the other hand, represents our humble side. The side that wants to both do good and to be good, the side that asks why weâ€™re here, the side that savours inner strength, possibilities and love.
Soloveitchik contends these two sides live in continual conflict with one another. And part of the problem, Brooks believes, is the fact they follow two different logics: an economic logic (external success is achieved in thinking input leads to output, and risk leads to reward) and a moral logic (internal value is achieved in thinking you must give in order to receive, to fulfill yourself you have to forget yourself, and to find yourself you first have to lose yourself.)
Hmm. It certainly got me thinking. Which side wins? Which side should win? Does one side even have to win over the other?!?
Our society seems to favour the economic logic, the values of Adam 1, over the moral logic and values of Adam 2. However, perhaps we need both. And at the end of the day, itâ€™s your life, your choice.
What do you want to be known for at the end of your life? Your success in business? Or the difference youâ€™ve made in the lives of others? And even if you would argue your eulogy virtues are indeed more important than your rÃ©sumÃ© virtues, are you spending enough of your time and energy in this way?
Have you ever put off a conversation or tea date with a friend because you had â€˜workâ€™ to do? When was the last time you had dinner with your parents or a family members without feeling like you could or should be getting caught up on emails instead? I know Iâ€™m guilty of it!
Although at times I can be quite driven towards success, I also really try to experience the moments in life that make it all matter.
So maybe the conflict of this external success versus internal value ainâ€™t going anywhere any time soon, but even just spending a few minutes contemplating is good nourishment for the soul I say.
â€œNothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own; therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.â€ ~ Reinhold Niebuhr
Happy Easter, and have a hoppinâ€™ weekend!