In this past Sunday's Review, David Brooks wrote about ways to achieve a richer inner life that extends beyond material accomplishments. This 'moral bucket' list includes intense self-awareness and confrontation about personal weaknesses, commitment to tasks that 'can't be completed in a single lifetime', a type of love that 'decenters the self', a personal calling, and conscience leaps.

While society continuously advertises finding an avocation, not just a vocation, Brooks' other points do not necessarily fit within mainstream ideals of success. It is refreshing to read his advice about becoming intimate with your own failings in order to build a necessary dependency and sense of worth rooted in others. More importantly, he cites more examples of women than men throughout history living full lives, and uses female pronouns to talk about the merits of one's purpose.

We can all learn from his underlying message that healthy amounts of humility, gratitude, and stumbling will set us all on a moral life path.