30 Lessons for Living – The Legacy Project Book

I’m very grateful to the thousands of people who have read 30 Lessons for Living and spread the word to colleagues and friends. The attention to the book shows how much people care about capturing the wisdom of the oldest Americans before they leave us. 

For some reactions to the book, here is  a selection of recent media coverage:

The Washington Post recently did a feature article on 30 Lessons for Living.

I had a great conversation with Moe Abdou on his “33 Voices” show. You can listen here.

“The Week” magazine featured lessons from eight of the elders, and it gives a great sense of the flavor of the book: “8 Lessons for Living a Full Life.”

Here’s a recent TV interview on “Good Morning Alabama.”

The PBS Newshour devoted a segment to the book, with interviews with two wonderfully wise elders.

Jane Brody published a terrific column on the book in the New York Times.

The Chicago Tribune’s article conveys key themes in the book.

I am also grateful to Chelsea Clinton for her endorsement of the Legacy Project and the book.

And a recent  review  sums up what the reaction has been so far to the book:

“I highly recommend it for anyone who craves words of wisdom and comfort. If age is just a number, “30 Lessons for Living” is number one.”
But the most exciting  recognition that elder wisdom is critically important is this: Your support for this blog! We are now getting over 1000 visits every day, and most of you are viewing many lessons while you are here. Thanks to all of you for your interest, and for spreading the word about the Legacy Project!

14 thoughts on “30 Lessons for Living – The Legacy Project Book

  1. Hi Karl! How very exciting. Every time I read one of these I can’t help but recall one of my 83 year old dads daily comedic quips on just about everything under the sun. Thank you for treasuring our elders. Happy Holidays! Myra

  2. I love hearing how people have chosen to live their lives. I need to hear upbeat stories of people have overcome adversity and lived happy and rewarding lives. There is simply too much negativity in the market place of ideas.

  3. Thanks, Sherry! I agree. What I liked most in our interviews with the elders is that they are positive, but not unrealistic. They realize that live is tough, but they have developed ways to be happy inspite of daily challenges.

  4. It may be trite to mention it, but it seems to me that merely having reached a respectable ‘old age’, and not having had to succumb to the ‘other alternative’, is all by itself enough reason to greet every additional day with optimism and anticipation.

  5. How right you are! That, I believe, is the key thing older people know deep in their hearts that younger people don’t. Sometimes being here is enough to e happy about.

  6. I just love this. I hope your work encourages all families to record the advice and wisdom of their elders – in writing, audio, video or whatever other way makes most sense to them. Gosh darn it, it’s so easy to do these days!

  7. I do not want to ruin the positive feeling many have who have reached an advanced age. This is for them perhaps a personal achievement to be proud of.
    But it is well to remember that some of the most evil people in the history of mankind reached advanced old age while their victims certainly did not.
    It is not the length of the life which primarily defines its quality, but the character of the action in it.

  8. Shalom,
    I believe you raise a profound point, and one that we all should consider. We can’t forget, too, that we in Western society are privileged to be able to enjoy long life spans, while others elsewhere in the world are not.

  9. Jane, I agree entirely! It’s so easy to do it, but we tend to forget how important it is to record our elders. Ii do have one recommendation. Very often when we interview our family elders, we tend to only ask them for their life stories. I found that an even more evocative topic can be asking them what they’ve learned over their lives, and what advice they have. A question like: “What do you know about living now that you didn’t know when you were 20” brings some fascinating answers.

  10. I want to share this little something someone shared with me: “Look for beauty where you are.”

    My best.

  11. Ah, true, but the point of the project is to learn about life, however long or short it may be, not to proclaim how long one lived. Ultimately that lesson comes back again and again that life is not something that happens TO us, rather our attitude toward ourselves and others IS our life.

  12. Still enjoying this website and the book immensely. I teach psychiatric nursing and take students on an acute inpatient psychiatric unit, where they are responsible for researching a project and leading a group on it. I assigned them the book and the website. I wish you all could have been there when they did the Wisdom group!! The students were also assigned to interview someone over the age of 75 to gather wisdom for the group. They expected to impart wisdom TO the patients, but we were all floored when the patients started recalling the wisdom of their own elders, as well as what they had learned about life themselves. We learned from them as well. The positive energy in the room was palpable. The group was scheduled for one hour, and we could have gone on for two. Amazing. THANK YOU!!! We’re doing it again this next semester!

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