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Monday, November 5, 2012

David Brooks, "The Heart Grows Smarter": Digging My Moat and Populating It With Crocodiles

How remarkable that a leading United States columnist has chosen to ignore the presidential election on election day.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Heart Grows Smarter" (, David Brooks contemplates the significance of men’s relationships. Brooks observes that the Grant Study, which, beginning in 1938, tracked the lives of 268 male Harvard students, determined that "It was the capacity for intimate relationships that predicted flourishing in all aspects of these men’s lives.” Brooks writes of the study:

"In case after case, the magic formula is capacity for intimacy combined with persistence, discipline, order and dependability. The men who could be affectionate about people and organized about things had very enjoyable lives."

Moreover, the effect of intimacy had a direct impact upon longevity:

"Of the 31 men in the study incapable of establishing intimate bonds, only four are still alive. Of those who were better at forming relationships, more than a third are living."

Me? Sorry to hark back to the presidential election; however, it has convinced me to intensify my efforts at digging a moat around my home and populating it with crocodiles.

Last night, I ate two different flavors of ice cream and read from three different books before taking Arnold, our Anatolian shepherd, for a customary 3 a.m. walk under the silent stars. How's that for "flourishing"?

Longevity be damned.

1 comment:

  1. I watched the PBS coverage of the election results last night. If you were as disheartened by the results as conservative David Brooks must have been, could you be faulted for changing the subject?