Why did he share David Brooks’ eulogy versus resume virtues? Did he stumble upon the TED talk three years ago? They have never discussed this in person, only by e-mail. Now she knows why.
She thought he was on to something, perhaps finally realizing that not having an advanced degree like his peers was nothing to be ashamed of. Another chip on his shoulder was not doing greater things than sticking to the same profession he started after he graduated from college. She knew these things bothered him, in the sarcastic manner in which he talked about people who had these accolades.
She wanted to tell him it’s alright. Don’t let it bother you, but she knew he had to come to terms with it his own way and in his own time.
If you didn’t pursue your dream, don’t fault others for pursuing theirs. Just because you have many degrees does not mean you’re a bad person. It takes determination and stamina to populate your resume with degrees, awards, jobs, etc. It does not mean you are less of a person for doing so.
But this is not David Brooks’ point. His is that we overlook the eulogy virtues in our pursuit. At our funeral, people will not be talking about our resume virtues but our eulogy virtues. She was a dear, kind woman. He had a big heart.
In examining his life on Maui, he realized that he had everything he wanted except a woman who reciprocated his love. After reading books about relationships, he casted a wider net, no longer seeking replicas of his previous wife and lover but something different. He discovered that younger women eagerly respond to shiny sports cars and bling.
It was her eulogy virtues that attracted him, for she had few, if any, resume virtues to speak of.
He wrote, “She is not as qualified as you are. She doesn’t know how to swim. She’s an ESL student. But she’s a dear, kind woman. She’s fun. And it feels good, for now.”