“We had compassion for those left behind but thought that our job was to provide them an opportunity (no matter how small) to get where we were. We didn’t think about changing our definition of success.” Those words come from Chris Arnade. His definition of success had been tied to upward mobility, ascending socially and professionally to the point of becoming a well-compensated Wall Street investor, who happened to pick up PhD in theoretical physics on the way. But eventually he went searching for something else––for other places and indeed for other people. He walked. He walked right into the kinds of towns and abandoned cities that most of successful Americans turned away from, even ridiculed. He paid attention to the people in these places, learned their stories, entered––as much as could––into their lives, discovering the ways in which they searched for meaning or sought community. The result of these immersions is his book, Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America.
Church Life Today is a partnership between the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and OSV Podcasts from Our Sunday Visitor. Discover more ways to live, learn, and love your Catholic faith at osvpodcasts.com. Sharing stories, starting conversations.