by Orrin Woodward
In the course of answering emails, my friend Greg Johnson sent me a link to a blog discussing Charles Murray’s new book Coming Apart. After reading the blog article several times, I realized I had to go buy the book immediately. I’m thankful I did!
Although many believe that the complex challenges facing us today cannot be solved through the lens of the American founder’s virtues, Murray writes:
I take another view: The founders were right. The success of America depended on virtue in the people when the country began and it still does in the twenty-first century. America will remain exceptional only to the extent that its people embody the same qualities that made it work for the first two centuries of its existence. The founding virtues are central to that that kind of citizenry.
I wrote RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, to bring back character-based ethics into society and the marketplace. In truth, Murray’s and my philosophies align closely, not a shocker since Murray gathered his views from studying numerous sociological studies, while I gathered mine from over 15 years in the living rooms of America. Both methods resulted in the same conclusions: that people with satisfying work; a happy marriage; a high social trust community; and a strong religious foundation are more likely to be happy than people without these four attributes. Of the four, in fact, a happy marriage is the factor that generates the biggest improvement in someone’s happiness score. I can speak on marriage and happiness both personally, experiencing first-hand the changes in happiness when Laurie and I improved our own marriage, and professionally, witnessing many couples improve their marriage and subsequently, their happiness….