The Legatum Institute was delighted to host best-selling author and ‘New York Times’ columnist, David Brooks, for a discussion that celebrated his new book, ‘The Road to Character’.
What matters more—being a successful CEO or a good mother? Having earned a packet in your prime or feeling loved as you approach the end of life?
These are the questions raised in Brooks’ newest work. Launching the Legatum Institute’s Values of Prosperity programme, Brooks outlined his vision of a culture that has lost its moral compass to a lunchtime audience of academics, journalists and social entrepreneurs.
As a Yale professor, Brooks explained, he found students yearning to lead the Good Life, but unsure of how to do so. Most, he admitted, lacked even the vocabulary to address these issues: as words such as ‘sin’ fall into disrepute, how can individuals identify, and avoid, the wrong? Brooks blamed their moral illiteracy not on his students, but on their education: too many schools and universities emphasise ‘resume’ values rather than ‘eulogy’ ones.
To counter this culture of a-morality, Brooks called for a secular conversation about morals and virtues. Only when such debate enters the mainstream can we realise our ambition to flourish—as individuals and society.
The discussion was moderated by Tim Montgomerie, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute.
Video Interview with David Brooks and Tim Montgomerie