By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Gospel at Today's NY Times

Go read the column today by David Brooks at the N.Y. Times at this link, and you will know what I mean by the title of this post.

Woodstock 1969
Brooks comments on the Baby Boomer drivel being repeated ad nauseam to new graduates this spring: find yourself and follow your star. Brooks rightly retorts that, in contrast, the way to fulfillment is by losing yourself in a task that seeks to attack a problem.

Yes, to be fulfilled and hence to be truly happy, you must lose yourself.

For most of you, your great-grandparents, at least, knew that. They read it in their Bible, or they just imbibed it from the more rational, sensible American cultural consensus of another era.

If some tell us that the World War II generation was the greatest generation (of course, such accolades certainly do not apply to every member of a generation), then what can we honestly say of the Baby Boomer generation? The worst generation (of course, such criticism certainly does not apply to every member of that generation). Thank God that nature ensures the departure of every generation to make way for a potentially more hopeful future.

To see the collective, cultural roots of the current and long-standing character malaise, just take a look at the N.Y. Times non-fiction (is that a relative term!) best seller list from the summer of 1973:

The New York Times Best Seller List
August 5, 1973


1 THE JOY OF SEX, by Alex Comfort.

[Blogger note: Here is part of the cultural, collective brainwashing that sex was a sort of neutral, amoral form of pleasurable aerobics that could be reduced to a "how-to" manual, rather than a signal of life-long commitment to starting a new family.

Notice how the aerobics approach is consummately egotistical, while the commitment approach calls you to go beyond self and even against selfish convenience.]

2 DR. ATKINS' DIET REVOLUTION, by Dr. Robert Atkins.

3 SYBIL, by Flora Rheta Schreiber.

4 LAUGHING ALL THE WAY, by Barbara Howar.

5 HOW TO BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND, by Mildred Newman and Bernard

Berkowitz with Jean Owen.

6 I'M O.K.- YOU'RE O.K., by Thomas Harris.


8 MY YOUNG YEARS, by Arthur Rubenstein.

9 MARILYN, by Norman Mailer.

10 THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST, by David Halberstam.

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