After service in Vietnam as a surgeon in 1968-69, Dr. Gordon Livingston returned to the U.S. and began work as a psychiatrist. In that capacity, he has listened to people talk about their lives and the limitless ways that they 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 leukemia. 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. Livingston illuminates these and twenty-four others in perfectly calibrated essays, many of which emphasize our closest relationships and the things that we do to impede or enhance them. These writings underscore that "we are what we do," and that while there may be no escaping who we are, we have the capacity to face loss, misfortune, and regret, and to move beyond them.
About the Author
Gordon Livingston, MD, a graduate of West Point and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in Vietnam, was a psychiatrist and writer who contributed frequently to the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Baltimore Sun. His books include Only Spring; Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart; And Never Stop Dancing; How to Love; and The Thing You Think You Cannot Do.
"The slim book by Columbia-based psychiatrist Gordon Livingston has been a source of inspiration for many."
—Baltimore Sun, -
"The author creates an aura of wisdom about a great many things." —Deseret Morning News, -
—Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, -
"A book I not only like but respect." —Palm Beach Post, -
"[Livingston] underscores our capacity to face loss, tragedy, and regret, and our ability to move beyond them." —Senior Digest, -
"[An] excellent self-help book." —Palm Beach Post, -