Tuesday, May 3, 2011

High-Five Nation

© Joel Thomason
This article by David Brooks, shared with me by a friend, ran in the New York Times in September of 2009. I found the message to be relevant in light of the American response to Osama bin Laden's death. Many have questioned whether a celebration is appropriate under the circumstances (i.e. someone was killed). The recent response is markedly different to that of the generation who celebrated the end of World War II. Yet why has our country's reaction to such an event changed so much over the years? Brooks argues that we, as Americans, have fundamentally changed; we have lost the humility that characterized generations before us.
[H]umility came under attack in the ensuing decades. Self-effacement became identified with conformity and self-repression. A different ethos came to the fore, which the sociologists call 'expressive individualism.' Instead of being humble before God and history, moral salvation could be found through intimate contact with oneself and by exposing the beauty, the power and the divinity within.
An interesting read during a tumultuous time in our nation's history.

- Joel

David Brooks - "High-Five Nation"

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