CULTURE   314302

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Opinion | What Moral Heroes Are Made Of - The New York Times | David Brooks
"Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to be around a lot of people who I would regard as moral heroes. They spend their lives fighting poverty, caring for the young or the sick, or single-mindedly dedicated to some cause. I’ve been wondering what traits such people tend to have in common.

"The first is that they <b>didn’t overthink their decision</b> before choosing to live this way. They didn’t weigh the costs and benefits or wage any internal battle with themselves. ...

"At some point in their lives, <b>somebody planted an ideal.</b> Somebody set a high example of what a good life looks like, and the person who went on to become a moral hero just assumed that, of course, that’s what one should do.

They tend to have a <b>'This is what I do' mentality.</b> They don’t have a lofty sense of themselves. They don’t have a sense that they are doing anything extraordinary. “What I do is as simple and common as the laughter of a child,” Mother Teresa once said.

"<b>They have a weird obliviousness to inferior pleasures.</b> They are not tempted by worldly success because they are not interested in worldly success. They don’t talk much about personal happiness, because they’re not particularly interested in themselves, period.

"That’s because, as [Anne] Colby and [William] Damon [authors of the book 'Some Do Care'] argue, <b>their self-identity is fused with a moral ideal.</b> Their identity is not based on being a lawyer or a pianist. Their identity is defined by a certain moral action.

"We see them tirelessly serving the poor or risking their lives for democracy and think they are performing great acts of self-sacrifice, but it doesn’t feel that way to them. It feels like the activation of their own nature. Doing that work seems to them as ordinary as doing the dishes. Something needed to be done, so they did it.

"Another quality you see is <b>constant goal expansion.</b> Some believe that a person’s character is set in childhood — that after age 18, people don’t change all that much. That’s not how it is with these people. They are to moral life what lifelong learners are to intellectual life.

"Some series of problems get presented to them — say, in the form of a parentless child landing on their doorstep or a new social wrong in their community. They see needs and respond with an instinctive and sometimes reckless series of 'yeses' — and later on figure out how they’re going to address them. 'Never look down to test the ground before taking the next step,' Dag Hammarskjold once advised. 'Only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.'

"You often see such people <b>expanding their ambitions in the face of hardship.</b> Andrei Sakharov was a Soviet scientist who became so concerned with the radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons tests that in 1961 he wrote to Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev dismissed him, portending decades of government intimidation and eventually internal exile. But every time the Soviets punished him, he expanded his activism and widened his critique.

"Often, they have <b>another strong back.</b> There’s usually a team of peers around them sharing core tasks and carrying them when they can’t carry themselves. Great moral leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King may get the bulk of attention, but they usually emerge from trusted small groups.

People who lead these lives tend to possess <b>an insane level of optimism,</b> a certainty that history does change for the better and that achieving justice is only a matter of time. They remain undaunted even in the face of severe hardship and assume that every wrong is temporary.

"Finally, the direction of their lives moves almost invariably from fragmentation to integration. The fragments of their character have become integrated around one single-minded moral cause. <b>They tend to be hedgehogs, not foxes.</b> Their efforts are generally built around healing some rupture in society, reconciling differences, bringing the unlike together, a move from fragmentation to wholeness. However contentious the world may look, they have a mind-set that at our deepest level we are all connected in a single fabric.

"Some of these moral heroes even seem to sense that no matter how diverse their fields of work are, they’re all somehow part of the same big struggle. ..."
Author: David Brooks, New York Times, May 21, 2018
culture  change  heros  morality 
yesterday by katherinestevens
The XY Problem
This reminds me of ESR's hostile approach to questions where the onus is on the interlocutor to know how best to ask a question.
Rick Moen pointed out at one point that the people who most need to read this type of thing are the least likely to read it.
Also: stop trying to optimize for the answerer. Anyone with any experience in pedagogy knows that's silly and a suboptimal way of encouraging participation.
communication  rhetoric  help  instruction  education  language  assistance  culture  technology  opensores  fallacies 
yesterday by po
Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture
Dancecult is a peer-reviewed, open-access e-journal for the study of electronic dance music culture (EDMC). A platform for interdisciplinary scholarship on the shifting terrain of EDMCs worldwide, the journal houses research exploring the sites, technologies, sounds and cultures of electronic music in historical and contemporary perspectives.
journal  electronic  dance  music  culture 
yesterday by gdw
Dancecult Research Network
Dancecult Research Network (DRN) is an interdisciplinary network of academics, scholars and students researching all aspects of electronic dance music culture (EDMC). The DRN acknowledges that, from proto-disco through what is today labelled “EDM”, from the practice of the DJ to the present ubiquity of dance clubs, the aesthetics, politics and cultures of electronic dance music permeate underground and popular movements.
electronic  dance  music  culture  network 
yesterday by gdw
An editorial
A New York Times editorial: “Seizing Children From Parents at the Border Is Immoral. Here’s What We Can Do About It.” Have you called your representatives in Congress yet?
culture  family  politics 
yesterday by M.Leddy
Lost Liverpool #13: The Beat of Bold Street Part 2, the Mardi Gras and G-Love - Getintothis
- wow I read this and it brought back a lot of memories. The closest thing to the legendary Shoom vibe in Liverpool. It was a different kind of crowd
culture  totwitter 
yesterday by renaissancechambara

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