I don’t know quite how to describe David Brooks’s new book, How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen (Random House). In one sense, the premise is simple, just as the title suggests: we learn from David how to know a person. He invites us to become “Illuminators,” who make others feel seen and significant through curiosity and charity. By contrast, “Diminishers” make others feel small through assumptions and stereotypes, all while drawing attention to themselves.

In another sense, the book makes me wonder why we don’t talk more about such an important subject, this constant practice of relating to one another. We can learn the wonders of physics and details of geography to compete on Jeopardy. And yet we may never really learn how to love and be loved. David writes, “As a society, we have failed to teach the skills and cultivate the inclination to treat each other with kindness, generosity, and respect.”

David Brooks is a New York Times columnist, a writer for The Atlantic, and a best-selling author of books such as The Second Mountain and The Road to Character. He’s also a generous and repeated interview guest. In this book, you’ll find wisdom about what’s most important in life. David writes, “Wisdom is knowing about people. Wisdom is the ability to see deeply into who people are and how they should move in the complex situations of life.”

David joined me on Gospelbound to discuss what the Bible means by knowing, why he writes more about culture than politics, how suffering helps us empathize, and more.