About the topics that the base questions addressed in The Gift of Wisdom?

The topics came from a broad range of life including areas related to philosophies that drive you, relationships, family/parental, spiritual, finances, health, education, workplace, stress, pursuing your dreams, losing a loved one, retirement, goals going forward, doing it all over again and so much more. See the book’s contents for a high-level list of topics covered.

How I chose the people who contributed to The Gift of Wisdom

I interviewed 25 people from across the United States who were willing to share their thoughts and experiences in a book so that others might benefit from their life’s adventures up to this moment. Most of these people I did not know beforehand. All the people are from within three degrees of separation from me who met certain criteria such as being at least 65 years of age, American citizen (but did not have to be born in the United States) and from a certain demography. The contributors are both males and females from a cross section of America—folks that roughly represent the ethnic, race and religious cross section of America from a wide range of vocations, educational backgrounds and life experiences. I want the book to be a reasonable representation of the melting pot of America—as much as 25 people can do so. I was not interested so much in what these people did for a living but what they learned from their life experiences.

What was the purpose for writing The Gift of Wisdom?

It is four-fold.

  1. In America, it is my view that we typically do not recognize, respect, honor or draw upon the tremendous wealth of wisdom that resides in our elders. I want to contribute to turning this thinking around by capturing that wisdom, albeit only a slither, and making it available to the populace—no matter the age.
  2. I want to provide a source of inspiration and help to all peoples so that they may have access to the experience and wisdom of their elders so their lives may benefit in some positive way.
  3. I want to offer a forum to encourage people to think for themselves. There is too little of this in our world. Too many people blindly follow others and/or act irrationally without questioning their own actions and the consequences of those actions on themselves and on others.
  4. The contributors to this book often had differing views and, arguably, none were incorrect. I want to show the diversity of a cross-section of America and, although we may have our differences, we have far more in common. America’s diversity makes us stronger as long as we demonstrate tolerance and seek to understand one another.

What is the The Gift of Wisdom about?

Most people are constantly in search of the proverbial “silver bullet”—that something spoken or written that can give them comfort, maybe even confidence, as they live their lives each day. They are looking for advice from someone who has been there and persevered, someone who has the scars but also can share the encouragement and wisdom of their journey. We have all been inspired, touched or consoled by a quote or story that came our way at just the right moment when we most needed to hear it. Those words lifted us or comforted us or caused us to reflect on our present journey.

This book is intended to do just that plus more—to help you live a more successful and satisfying life by offering the gift of wisdom from people who have, by most measures, lived a long life and have accumulated a treasure of experiences and lessons. These are people who have experienced many special friendships and losses, victories and defeats, setbacks and challenges and opportunities, and acquired a plethora of moments and memories that have left them with an invaluable wisdom that cannot otherwise be possible. These people represent treasured resources from whom we all can benefit.