David Brooks on the Traits of a True Moral Hero

Join Us for the Congressional Reception in Washington on July 25 and Be a Moral Hero and be Part of the Struggle

According to David Brooks of the New York Times, there is a certain type of person he identifies as a moral hero. These people don’t wear capes or donate millions of dollars, but commit their lives to good without hesitation.

Brooks claims that only certain people are cut out to be moral heroes. Usually, they had an influence early on in life that set high expectations for their morality and simply adopted those standards, not realizing that everyone else is not quite as moral as they are.

Moral heroes don’t overthink decisions that involve helping others, they just do it. They have a “This is what I do” mentality, where they don’t question their everyday decisions to help the poor, care for the sick, or fight for democracy. They don’t care about being rich or famous, they only care about making a difference.

Brooks argues that the self-identity of a moral hero is fused with a moral ideal. “Their identity is defined by a certain moral action. They feel at home in the world when they are performing that moral action and feel out of sorts when they are not.”

Even more so, a moral hero expands upon their goals, establishing goals at a young age and striving towards new ones until the day they die. When they see new hardships, they create new goals, and accomplish those, too.

Moral heroes don’t deserve all the credit, though. Leaders like Mahtma Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. may be the ones who make the history books, but they have strong communities standing behind them. Without the unknown names and faces, the actions of these heroes would be futile.

Finally, moral heroes have an incredible sense of optimism- undaunted by setbacks.

As one antipoverty activist said, “I am not the struggle. I am not leading any struggle. I am there. And I have been there for a long time, and I’m going to be there for the rest of my life. So, I have no unrealistic expectations. Therefore, I am not going to get fatigued.”

There are still ways to be a positive citizen or member of your community without being a moral hero like Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa. One way to join the struggle is to help us tell our elected officials in Washington, DC, “No Cuts to Housing.”

On July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey Residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Opportunity Starts at Home. Make a moral decision and join us on July 25th.

Click here for more information about the Congressional Reception. You can also follow @OppStartsatHome in order to learn more about the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign. Follow the event with these hashtags #NJHillDay #NoHousingCuts and @OppStartsatHome.

David Brooks Column

2018 Congressional Reception

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