The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

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DONS READS: How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen


Through thoughtful analysis of the “Ins and Outs” of 2024— a prediction of trends for the new year, self-help books did not waver from the “Ins” category. Author David Brooks is the monarch of self-help. In addition to being the best-selling author of The Second Mountain, The Road to Character, The Social Animal, Bobos in Paradise, and On Paradise Drive, Brooks is a lead commentator and writer for nationally recognized news sources, such as The Atlantic and The New York Times

I chose his newest book, How to Know a Person, as my first testimony to self-help. In an engaging 275 pages, Brooks unveils the art of “seeing others deeply and being deeply seen” in three parts: I See You, I See You in Your Struggles, and I See You With Your Strengths. 

He begins by defining two polar identities, Illuminators and Diminishers. According to his philosophy, people should strive away from the tendencies of Diminishers— egotism, anxiety, naive realism, objectivism, essentialism, and the static mindset— to illuminate others. He argues that this principle will deepen people’s understanding of others and aid in Accompaniment, when people can depend on each other to achieve greatness.  

Given the foundational knowledge from Part One, readers equip themselves with the tools needed to clarify two additional ways to see others, in struggle and strength. Human nature accounts for flaws. However, focusing on these distracts from the inherent strengths of others. Brooks puts on the pressure to rewire these distracted mindsets in order to live fulfilling lives. 

Brooks pushes his book toward “anyone searching for connection and yearning to be understood”. How to Know a Person calls out modern human discontent among a world that prioritizes self gain over the illumination of others. As we all scramble to find the best version of ourselves amidst the new year, let us consider instead how we may find the best in others, as advised by David Brooks.

“How can we look somebody in the eye and see something large in them, and in turn, see something larger in ourselves?”

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About the Contributor
Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown, Editor in Chief
Sarah Brown. Cheerleader, journalist, and vegan. Sarah has three siblings, all in college and her sister attends Colorado State University. She failed drivers test this summer so watch out! (Just kidding!) Green Yerba Mates make her feel reborn as she drinks them everyday at school. Sarah loves purple so much she had an attachment at a young age, making her feel obligated to continue such liking. At home she has a giant, slobbery Pitt Bull that her dad named Buddy. However, Buddy is not alone. Kiwi is their cat that they just recently added to the Brown family. As an Ambassador for Christ Sarah was inspired to continue to serve outside the school community. She babysits a two year old and a five year old. She hopes to continue her love for journalism by perusing it in college, whether it be as a lawyer or even writing her own book!  

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