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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

We went to the Moruya Markets yesterday. Huge crowds and a very hot day! I picked up a book which I should have picked up forty years earlier about 'thirty true things you need to know'. Just as well I could buy it for just a dollar as it's a bit late to be smart now!

Of course, the reality is that we tend to be the same people, philosophically and behaviourally, at sixty or forty as we were at twenty. This doesn't mean we have learned nothing in the intervening years. We just haven't gained equivalent insight into who we are and why we do the things we do.

This little book - a comfortable 168 pages - was written by a psychiatrist who spent thirty years listening to other people's most intimate secrets and troubles and collected them in an eloquent, incisive, and deeply perceptive book about the things we all grapple with as we strive to make the most of the life we have left.

It is full of things we may know but have not articulated to ourselves, and is a gentle and generous alternative to the trial-and-error learning that makes wisdom such an expensive commodity.