The AOK community is proud to celebrate the release of David Brooks’ new #1 New York Times bestseller book The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life. The book poses a simple yet deeply complex question: Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it?

David argues that we all move through life aiming to achieve traditional hallmarks of success and happiness, which he defines as the first mountain. However, he argues that after accomplishing these goals many people are left unsatisfied and in turn seek a deeper purpose in their lives.

“They realize: This wasn’t my mountain after all. There’s another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain.”

The book discusses the traditional hallmarks of success in our society which David defines as starting a career, creating a family, choosing a vocation, committing to a philosophy or faith, and finding a community.  

“In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it’s also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, David argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love.”

When thinking about our AOK community in this context it becomes apparent that our connections to one another defy the intense individualism of our society. We find a sense of grounding in the relationships and commitments that we make to each other. We create a community that centers solidarity and love. As David says in the book, “To me, AOK is what a second-mountain life looks like. It is a life of love, care, and commitment.”

We are endlessly proud to call David Brooks a part of our community and it brings us joy to celebrate the release of this timely and meaningful book.