David Brooks: The lies our culture tells us about what matters -- and a better way to live
Writer and thinker David Brooks has covered business, crime and politics over a long career in journalism. Full bio
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by that failed commitment.
or were leaving.
in the conservative movement,
I lived alone in an apartment,
where there should have been utensils,
where there should have been plates,
but I didn't have weekend friends.
were these long, howling silences.
came to me in the form of --
a burning in my stomach.
just fluidity, lack of solidity.
was the awareness
was just reflective of the emptiness
that our culture tells us.
career success is fulfilling.
the shame I would feel
on their deathbed will tell you,
is the deep relationships of life,
of the meritocracy.
is you are what you accomplish.
is you can earn dignity
to prestigious brands.
is conditional love,
is you're not a soul to be purified,
a little more than others
a little more than others.
failing to show up for my friends,
that as I was falling into the valley --
were doing that, too.
the secret to my career;
to a lot of other people.
with above average communication skills.
a lot of other people were detached
from each other.
over 45 are chronically lonely.
report having meaningful conversation
say they trust their neighbors,
political party is unaffiliated.
movement is unaffiliated.
mental health problems are rising.
30 percent since 1999.
over the last several years,
kill themselves every year;
I flew out here to say
we have environmental crisis,
and relational crisis;
coming out of Washington ...
"You suffer your way to wisdom."
I've had a few realizations.
political freedom is great,
because he's uncommitted to things.
you want to swim in,
on the other side.
one of those bad moments in life,
or grief, they get smaller,
they lash out.
is that it's an interruption of life.
you thought you were.
what you thought was the floor
revealing a cavity below,
revealing a cavity below.
you never anticipated,
will fill those depths.
you get out of the head of the ego
is longing and love for another,
described in his book,
when being in love is burned away.
and a fortunate accident.
towards each other underground,
had fallen from our branches,
one tree and not two."
you discover is your soul.
or not believe in God,
that there's a piece of you
infinite dignity and value.
don't have more of this
it's an obliteration of another soul.
on a bunch of physical molecules,
another person's soul.
is it yearns for righteousness.
the soul yearns for righteousness.
which I borrowed from Einstein:
is not going to be solved
on which you created it.
to a different level of consciousness."
is you throw yourself on your friends
that you ever had before.
into the wilderness.
where there's nobody there to perform,
and it crumbles,
of being loved.
that when her daughter was born,
more than evolution required.
that's at the deep of ourself,
you're ready to be rescued.
when you're in the valley
by a couple named Kathy and David,
public school, his name's Santi.
who needed a place to stay
and that kid had a friend.
25 around the kitchen table,
downstairs in the basement.
shake hands here.
on the face of the earth,
every Thursday night when I'm in town,
where you're showing all the way up.
for all the ills of our culture
really putting relationship first,
these communities are everywhere.
called "Weave: The Social Fabric."
weavers anywhere, everywhere.
who grew up in --
in a tough neighborhood.
because it was so dangerous,
and she saw two little girls
with broken bottles,
and she said, "We're not leaving.
that abandon that."
and now she runs R.A.G.E.,
have had tough valleys.
who came home from an antiquing trip
had killed himself and their two kids.
she volunteers in the community,
with violence, she teaches.
experience because I was angry.
what he tried to do to me
screw you, you're not going to do it.'"
an individualistic life,
they have a different set of values.
they have planted themselves down.
in the town square,
called Roots of Empathy.
a bunch of kids, an eighth grade class,
what the infant is thinking,
who was bigger than the rest
been through the foster care system,
because he looked big and scary.
Darren, hold the baby.
asking questions about parenthood.
do you think you can be a good father?"
people out of the valley.
they have an intensity to them.
called "Naturalist," about his childhood.
his parents were divorcing.
to Paradise Beach in North Florida.
It existed beyond my imagination."
float beneath his feet.
in the awe and wonder.
as you do as an adult.
is that moral intensity,
over to something
at twice the size as normal people.
when we're shooting for our career,
it's the expansion of self.
your team wins the Super Bowl,
it's the dissolving of self.
disappears between a mother and her child,
feels just free in nature.
in your work or a cause,
to aim for than happiness.
of people when they lose it.
wondering where her handbag was.
reached across a sea of bodies
over and over, 'Are you feeling it?'
I was terrified that I might die,
overwhelmed with delight
should happen to be playing
in the history of the world
into 'Teen Spirit.'
the top of my head blew away,
we gave ourselves up to joy."
is two different life mindsets.
individual happiness and career success.
I have nothing against it.
the other mindset to balance it.
about ourselves as a people,
faith in our future,
we don't treat each other as well.
and environmental change.
and relational revolution.
of a recovered society.
have found that language.
is that society changes
find a better way to live,
a better way to live.
all around the country.
we're a weaver."
the social unity gets repaired.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERDavid Brooks - Op-ed columnist
Writer and thinker David Brooks has covered business, crime and politics over a long career in journalism.
Why you should listen
David Brooks became an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times in September 2003. He is currently a commentator on "The PBS Newshour," NPR’s "All Things Considered" and NBC's "Meet the Press."
Brooks also teaches at Yale University, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Born on August 11, 1961 in Toronto, Canada, Brooks graduated a bachelor of history from the University of Chicago in 1983. He became a police reporter for the City News Bureau, a wire service owned jointly by the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times.
He worked at The Washington Times and then The Wall Street Journal for nine years. His last post at the Journal was as Op-ed Editor. Prior to that, he was posted in Brussels, covering Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and European affairs. His first post at the Journal was as editor of the book review section, and he filled in as the Journal's movie critic.
He also served as a senior editor at The Weekly Standard for 9 years, as well as contributing editor for The Atlantic and Newsweek.
David Brooks | Speaker | TED.com