Which Resume?

Dear Friends, 

The Center 4 Non Profit Excellence Update
Phase 1 of the Center for Non Profits is finished and the grand opening comes next!   Will keep you updated.  It’s been a wonderful, but time consuming, venture.   Am happy to get back to the normal flow of things, as spending time with men, as my board always reminds me, is central to our mission.  In light of that, each day I like to send via email, to 2-3 (of the 50 or so) men I regularly visit with, a spiritual reflection of one sort or another. It often provides for good subsequent conversation.   I wanted to pass along the latest to you.  As always, thank you for making this mission possible.

  It is, quite frankly, a miracle that we exist and you are the means of that miracle. 


Which Resume’?   

I just returned from our son Ryan's, college graduation (!) and found the graduation speaker nothing short of exceptional.  The speaker was the president of the college and borrowed from something that David Brooks (a previous speaker) had mentioned. 


He said that there are two kinds of virtues to consider upon graduation.  There are resume’ virtuesand there are eulogy virtues.  
The former is what most colleges…. and parents…. and graduates….spend most of their lives obsessing over.  Resume’ virtues consist of things like:  Trophies, awards, plaques, articles/books published, boards served on, wealth accrued, brand popularity, positions occupied, etc.  in other words, one’s professional accomplishments, relative to others.   
Eulogy virtues by contrast, consist of things like: Love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, courage and self control.   In other words, one’s  relational disposition, toward both God and others.  


While having the former does not necessarily preclude the latter, I can almost guarantee you that the two will come into conflict during the course of a career.  For when one’s resume’ virtues matter most, all else, including eulogy virtues, by definition, become expendable. 


A question I am going to begin asking men goes something like this: Are you happy with your career?  (Resume’ virtues)   Follow up:  Do you like the ‘you,’ that you have become, during your career?   (Eulogy virtues)

  • Some will answer ‘yes’ to both. 

  • Others, if they are honest, will answer ‘yes’ to the former but ‘no’ to the latter. 

  • Still others may answer ‘no’ to the former but ‘yes’ to the latter.  

An interesting question to follow up with might be this:  ‘If I had to chose between the last two options, which would I prefer?’


Someone has said that men, when they hit middle age, tend to undergo a paradigm shift.   Many, but by no means all, become less concerned about being ‘successful’ and far more concerning about being ‘significant.’  
I’m not completely sure what that means, but I have a hunch that it has something to do with moving from resume’ virtues  as one’s ultimate concern, to eulogy virtues as one’s ultimate concern. 


Put another way, when mid-life hits, many men stop obsessing about being ‘a Somebody,’ and begin concerning themselves with becoming ‘Someone.’


Many don’t, to be sure, and that is tragic.  Others, however, are ready for that paradigm shift, realizing that they may have spent their lives pursuing the former…. at the expense of the latter.  


That’s where a spiritual friend proves especially helpful.   

….and that’s exactly why the Daniel Foundation exists.


Pax Christi,
Greg Porter



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