Gordon Livingston has been a physician since 1967. He is a psychiatrist and writer who contributes to the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, and Reader's Digest. He is the author of And Never Stop Dancing. In this international bestseller, which consists of excellent and thought-provoking essays, Livingston spells 30 lessons he has learned in his life. Here is a sampler of titles:
• The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas.
• Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid
• The most secure prisons are those we construct for ourselves.
• Happiness is the ultimate risk.
• Not all who wander are lost,
• Of all the forms of courage, the ability to laugh is the most profoundly therapeutic.
In the opening essay in this paperback, Livingston suggests a manual be written of virtuous character traits that we can nurture in ourselves and discover in our friends and lovers. He suggests that the first one be kindness which he sees as "the most desirable of virtues." In another piece, Livingston observes that diminished respect and unmet expectations are usually present when marriages are in trouble. The author believes that happiness comes from taking risks, honoring our mortality, and being willing to be surprised. One of the most provocative essays deals with the reasons why old people grumble so much. In another piece, Livingston takes off his hat to humor:
"Humor is a form of sharing, an interpersonal exercise. To share laughter is a way of affirming that we are all in this lifeboat together. The sea surrounds us; rescue is uncertain; control is illusory. Still we sail on together."