New York Times columnist David Brooks has a message for college grads: you’ve been misled. It’s really not about you.
“Today’s grads enter a cultural climate that preaches the self as the center of a life. But, of course, as they age, they’ll discover that the tasks of a life are at the center [...] The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.”
Brooks’ point about reality being different than most commencement speeches is spot on. But, his suggestion that what makes life worth living is losing yourself to some task is not. Which tasks should we pursue? Why? Brooks replaces “finding yourself” with “constructing yourself.” In both approaches, we author our own reality.
But reality already has an author who made us in His image and embedding life itself with meaning. That meaning is only found when our tasks and lives are oriented to Him.