Includes bibliographical references (pages -284) and index.
"[The author] has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in [this book], he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success, [the author] challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our "resume virtues"-- achieving wealth, fame, and status-- and our "eulogy virtues," those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed. Looking to some of the world's greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, [the author] explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade. Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, [this book] provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth. "Joy," [the author] writes, "is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes." --
"[A] controversial and eye-opening look at how our culture has lost sight of the value of humility - defined as the opposite of self-preoccupation - and why only an engaged inner life can yield true meaning and fulfillment"--