In Dr. Gordon Livingston's follow-up to his national bestseller Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, he offers thirty more true things we need to know now. Among the fresh truths he identifies and explores in this book, which has sold more than 50,000 copies in hardcover, are: Paradox governs our lives. Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. Marriage ruins a lot of good relationships. We are defined by what we fear. We all live downstream. One of life's most difficult tasks is to see ourselves as others see us. As we grow old, the beauty steals inward. Most people die with their music still inside of them. Dr. Livingston's sterling qualities are in evidence again: a clear and deep understanding of the hidden hypocrisies, desires, evasions, and emotional tumult that course through our lives; an unerring sense of what is important; and his own ability to persevere-to hope-in a world he knows is capable of inflicting unjustifiable and lifelong suffering.
A physician and psychiatrist, Livingston follows up on his Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now with this compendium of useful humanistic advice for getting through life with grace and a sense of joy. In "Marriage Ruins a Lot of Good Relationships," the author notes that a relationship is in trouble when it depends on scorekeeping: how much am I giving, how much am I getting? Livingston advocates instead choosing a partner to love as much as we love ourselves, one who is kind and has a willingness to extend him or herself. Livingston also believes too many psychiatrists are prescribing medication rather than helping their patients "take responsibility for lives and cope with the inevitable mood changes that are a part of living." Extrapolating from his ideas about the good life to broader issues, Livingston argues that our need for "insatiable consumption" is directly related to our abuse of the environment and our need to wage war. In "You Can Change Who You Are Without Rejecting Who You Were," Livingston, a West Point graduate, discusses his love for the Point and his growing opposition to the war in Vietnam, where he served as an army doctor. His public protests against interrogation techniques ended his military career. This slender volume is full of wisdom and written with a generous spirit that will appeal even to those who don't usually read self-help books.