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Plans for 2022

By John Tuite
Posted: 12/22/2021
Men's Time Topic Discussion for Tuesday, January 4th 

Welcome Men of the Village!  I am struck by the significance of the 
New Year:  2022!   It could be my last year on Earth!  It could be your last year on Earth…when seen in that context, it seems paltry in the light of resolutions…short term changes in behavior that we know, if successful, will affect our health, our weight, our eating patterns, our exercise habits, perhaps even our daily routines by adding prayer, meditation, or spiritual reading.

How are we going to address the weight, the influence, the meaning of this date in my life?  What things should I choose to think about this year, read about, talk about, discuss, and ruminate on?  Shall I choose twelve topics and spend a month on each learning twelve new facts? Astronomy, Zoology, Philosophy, History, the Brain…or other things of interest: the Spirit, the generations, the discovery of the animal Man, Religions, the Great Books….the topics go on...

I’m currently fascinated by David Brooks, the editorial writer for the New York Times, and a national motivational speaker.  I’m reading a book he wrote about four years ago which has the fascinating title, "The Road to Character."  Not easy reading but I find myself going back rereading pages, and searching for ideas and people whom I passed over rather quickly the first time.  That’s the kind of book that I call favorite, whether I like it or not, but I follow the author as a challenge, to figure out what he’s saying and what the basis of his/her arguments are.

In “The Road to Character” 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, Brooks challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our “resume virtues”, success and fame, and our “eulogy virtues”, those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, and faithfulness.  Something my Franciscan friend, Richard Rohr, calls “Falling Upward”.

He then traipses through history looking at a variety of people who found various ways of facing their circumstances and eking out a conclusion to the human question: “Was my life worth it?  Did I make a difference?”

What are your plans for 2022?  Tell us!

John Tuite
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