I happen to have a 30-minute break in between classes last night and my language student introduced me to this TED.com website. I came across this very short talk by David Brooks that left me thinking – am I living for my resume or for my eulogy?
I did a quick research about Brooks and was quite impressed with his resume and accomplishments. And although I do not agree with some of his political and social positions, I found this talk very enlightening. A question that at some point, we must all decide the answer to.
In the talk, Brooks mentioned about Joseph Soloveitchik’s illustration of Adam I and Adam II in the essay “Lonely Man of Faith”. In a nutshell, we as humans have both natures in us.
“Adam I is built by building on your strengths. Adam II is built by fighting your weaknesses.” – David Brooks
Adam I is the man of the world. He spends most of his time feeding on worldly pleasures such as wealth, power, fame and many lusts of the flesh. Adam I thinks that by accumulating much of these things he would be successful and happy.
In his pursuit of success, however, Adam I forgets about what matters the most like family, relationships and inner virtues. He lives in the lie that he is doing everything for his family, when in fact, it turns him into a stranger in his own home. In the end, he becomes accomplished, but empty.
Adam II, on the other hand, decides to invest on intangible things that money, fame or power cannot buy. He values virtues like faith in God, love, humility, integrity, wisdom and hope above everything else. He believes that these things will make him happy and successful in life.
In his quest for excellence, Adam II will have a very impressive resume, but will also have the most meaningful of relationships.
In the end, Adam II will live his life to the full. Why? My analysis is simple, Adam II will spend his life’s quest for purpose and meaning by spending more time with his family, performing admirably in his workplace and by drawing closer to his Maker. This is the methodical formula to achieve fruitfulness in everything he does.
Now about Adam II’s eulogy, wait until you hear his legacy from his family and friends…
Remember Him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades.
Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Ecclesiastes 12:4, 6
There is treasure in the house of the godly. Greed brings grief to the whole family. Proverbs 15:6, 27