Out of a lifetime of experience psychologist Gordon Livingston has extracted 30 bedrock truths. For everyone who feels a sense of urgency that the clock ticks and we still aren’t the person we’d like to be, it offers solace, guidance and hope.
From a psychiatrist who has spent the past thirty years listening to other people’s most intimate secrets and troubles—an eloquent, incisive, and deeply perceptive book about the things we all share—and which every one of us grapples with as we strive to make the most of the life we have left.
After service in Vietnam as a surgeon for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1968-69, at the height of the war—Dr Gordon Livingston returned to the US and began work as a psychiatrist. In that capacity, he has listened to people talk about their lives—what works, what doesn’t, and the limitless ways (most of them self-inflicted) that we have found to be unhappy. He is also a parent twice bereaved—in one thirteen-month period,he lost his eldest son to suicide, his youngest to leukaemia.
Out of a lifetime of experience, Livingston has extracted thirty bedrock truths: We are what we do. Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Only bad things happen quickly. Forgiveness is a form of letting go, but they are not the same thing. The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas.
'Gordon Livingston has been through many kinds of hell and come back with wisdom and kindness that are to be revered. To read him is to trust him and to learn, for his life has been touched by fire, and his motives are absolutely pure' - Mark Helprin, author of A Soldier of the Great War and Winter’s Tale
Gordon Livingston, MD, a graduate of West Point and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been a physician since 1967. He is a psychiatrist and writer who frequently contributes to the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun and Reader’s Digest. Awarded the Bronze Star for valour for his service in the Vietnam War, he is the author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, And Never Stop Dancing and Only Spring: On Mourning the Death of My Son. He lives and works in Columbia, Maryland, USA.