✰✰✰✰✰ When faced with their own mortality, some people become more productive and insightful. Knowing that your days are limited sometimes gives a person clarity and focus. In the face of death, these people learn what cannot be taught. They possess an appreciation for today; an appreciation for what they have, instead of pining away for things they don't.
Dr. Oliver Sacks was a brilliant physician and the author of more than a dozen books. After his cancer returned, he penned several essays in which he explored coming to terms with death...his death. Rather than feeling bitter and angry, Sacks uncovered a feeling of gratitude for having been a part of this world.
In this book, Sacks describes beauty, love, and adventure in his memories of the past and current thoughts as he faced his own mortality. Sacks also talks about the friends who have passed before him and those he himself would leave behind. This beautiful and inspirational book is all too brief, just like life itself.
The Bottom Line: This quick read will make you think about your own life and what really matters. Composed of just four essays, I read this book several times. This book left me asking myself the following: What are my real priorities? When was the last time I stopped to enjoy what I have? How can I be kinder to others?
Parts of this little, but amazingly powerful book have been previously published. However, when read together these essays bring the reader to a new understanding of what it means to really be alive. As Dr. Sacks pointed out, sometimes it takes being faced with death to learn how to really live. A must-read for everyone!
Details: Gratitude by Oliver Sacks. Hardcover published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2015. 64 p. ISBN: 9780451-49293-7