David Brooks' column today at the New York Times is about In Search Of Dignity. Every Filipino should read this. Our rapidly deteriorating country really needs a huge shot of dignity in the arm right now. Anyway, here are excerpts from Brooks' article:
"The dignity code commanded its followers to be disinterested — to endeavor to put national interests above personal interests. It commanded its followers to be reticent — to never degrade intimate emotions by parading them in public. It also commanded its followers to be dispassionate — to distrust rashness, zealotry, fury and political enthusiasm.
Remnants of the dignity code lasted for decades. For most of American history, politicians did not publicly campaign for president. It was thought that the act of publicly promoting oneself was ruinously corrupting. For most of American history, memoirists passed over the intimacies of private life. Even in the 19th century, people were appalled that journalists might pollute a wedding by covering it in the press.
Today, Americans still lavishly admire people who are naturally dignified, whether they are in sports (Joe DiMaggio and Tom Landry), entertainment (Lauren Bacall and Tom Hanks) or politics (Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King Jr.).
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The old dignity code has not survived modern life. The costs of its demise are there for all to see. Every week there are new scandals featuring people who simply do not know how to act."