Buy This Book: The Four Things That Matter Most by Ira Byock

I'm heading for Austin today to interview Dr. Ira Byock for an upcoming article in Prevention Magazine. A good omen: just before the editors contacted me about doing the article, I'd downloaded The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living on my Kindle. When I spoke to Ira on the phone yesterday to set up logistics, I was glad to find that the warmth and wisdom in this book was completely present in his voice. He's a fascinating person doing controversial but incredibly important work in the field of palliative care and end of life issues.

From the flap:
Four simple phrases -- "Please forgive me," "I forgive you," "Thank you," and "I love you" -- carry enormous power. In many ways, they contain the most powerful words in our language. These four phrases provide us with a clear path to emotional wellness; they guide us through the thickets of interpersonal difficulties to a conscious way of living that is full of integrity and grace...

The inspiring stories in The Four Things That Matter Most demonstrate the usefulness of the Four Things in a wide range of life situations. They also show that a degree of emotional healing is always possible and that we can experience a sense of wholeness even in the wake of family strife, personal tragedy, divorce, or in the face of death. With practical wisdom and spiritual punch, The Four Things That Matter Most gives us the language and guidance to honor and experience what really matters most in our lives every day.


This is a very important topic that I wish more people in the states would take notice of. We're so much more about treating illnesses as they come here, rather than preventing or palliating them. I'm really glad you're talking about this, and I look forward to the interview.

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