The Second Mountain

David Brooks
Reading Order: Book 31
Categories: 2021, Erik Rostad
Pages: 312
Date Started: August 31, 2021
Date Finished: September 7, 2021
9h 9m 33s
Reason Book was Chosen:
I recently heard a podcast episode where David Brooks shared his recent faith journey and it was fascinating. I'd seen this book on the radar for a while, but that moved me to want to read this book.

My Thoughts

David Brooks presents two ways of living – the first mountain and the second mountain. Here’s a breakdown of what’s involved:

1st Mountain / 2nd Mountain:

  • focus on self / focus on others
  • happiness / joy
  • contracts / covenants
  • freedom from / commitments (freedom to)
  • institutions / relationships
  • social approval / seeking truth
  • tribalism / community
  • can / ought
  • conquer the world / conquered by higher purpse
  • building ego / shedding ego
  • career / vocation
  • building self / growing soul

Brooks identifies the big problem of our day being hyper-individualism. The results are rising suicide rates, unhappiness, and a lack of purpose. The antidote is a life of love, care, and commitment. In particular, commitment in four areas:

  1. Vocation
  2. Marriage
  3. Philosophy / Faith
  4. Community

This is a book about the soul – a book about impacting the moral ecology around you through daily and often hidden decisions.

This book tied together a number of books from this reading project and it was a joy to read.

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Lost in Thought
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone