New York Times columnist David Brooks shares thoughts on moving from ego to unconditional love
It’s great when you get a chance to meet one of your heroes. And even better to find out you have more reason to admire him than you already thought you did.
I’ve been reading New York Times columnist David Brooks’ work for far longer than I’ve been writing commentary. I appreciated his intelligence, thoughtfulness and style, even when I didn’t always agree with his perspectives and positions. Since becoming a columnist, I’ve read his work with a more analytical eye, trying to glean from his example and experience how I might be as effective and insightful.
At Monday’s Library Foundation for Sarasota County annual luncheon, I finally got to see and hear Brooks, the guest speaker, up close, and to make that more intimate assessment of someone’s character that’s only possible in person. (There’s a reason why so many Match.com first dates fail.) To my delight, the only letdown was to find that he is somewhat shorter than I’d envisioned. (Funny, readers whom I meet for the first time often say the same thing about me.)
Our paths to punditry have been decidedly different. Brooks told the audience of 600-plus he knew he wanted to become a writer at age 7 after reading “Paddington the Bear.” He’s written every day since, first for his high school and college newspapers and later climbing the ranks from the National Review to the Wall Street Journal to — in 2003 at age 45 — the Times.