Remembering One’s Character on Memorial Day

In his book “The Road to Character”, David Brooks offered up an interesting contrast. He notes that as we live our lives, we do so with “resume” values and “eulogy” values.

As you might imagine, “resume” values are oriented toward achieving success in the world. Wealth accumulated. Titles and positions achieved. Success in developing job skills.

“Eulogy” values are oriented around the things one might hear at a funeral.

They contrast with “worldly” success by focusing on relationship success.

How well did one love and was loved in return? What difference was made in the lives of other through actions? How generous? How selfless?

One of Brooks’ ideas on character is that it’s development gets stunted when one leans to heavily on resume values at the expense of eulogy values.

Monday is Memorial Day. We are the “Land of the Free” because of the bravery of many who gave at the cost of their lives. At their funerals, the eulogies weren’t about their titles or the balances in their checking accounts. It was about the strength of character of those who would lay down their lives for the people and country they loved and cherished.