David Brooks’ Sidney Awards, Part I

David Brooks links many great articles in his column today announcing his Sidney Awards. Well worth the read. Enjoy it on a rainy weekend, a boring day at the office, or any evening you want to devote to enriching and thought-provoking reading. It begins:

Every year, the Sidney Awards, named for the renowned philosopher Sidney Hook, go out to some of the best magazine essays of the year. Anybody interested in being a better person will click the links to these essays, and read attentively.

The first winner is Peter Hessler’s New Yorker article, “Dr. Don: The life of a small-town druggist.” It is a profile of a man named Don Colcord who lives in Nucla, Colo., and serves that community medically, spiritually, financially and beyond.

The article is a beautiful description of what it’s like to live in a small town, where everybody knows each other’s sins and virtues. As one resident puts it, “I like to play chess. I moved to a small town and nobody played chess there, but one guy challenged me to checkers. I always thought it was kind of a simple game, but I accepted. And he beat me nine or ten games in a row. That’s sort of like living in a small town. It’s a simple game, but it’s played at a higher level.”

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