After actor Alan Alda
recovered from a nearly fatal intestinal obstruction, he decided to live as if he'd been given a second life. To make his new life as meaningful as possible, he wanted to remember those rare moments when a special stillness had come over him, the kind that hits you when you hear something that goes to the core of who you think you are.
These were moments when he'd had some understanding about the meaning of his life, his reason for living — the central questions that Alda grapples with, as he looks back over his life in "Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself." While poking good-natured fun at some of his earlier rhetoric (the ravings of a naïve Hollywood liberal) he shares highlights of the various commencement speeches and keynote addresses he's given to future doctors and physicists, or even to the odd group of Jefferson scholars.
He phrases it differently for each audience, but the message is consistent: It's not what you do in life, but how you do it. Notice everything. Always be open to new ideas, new experiences. Alda is chatty, easygoing and humble, rather like a Mr. Rogers for grownups. His words of inspiration would be a perfect gift for a college grad or for anyone facing major life changes.
Alan Alda played Hawkeye Pierce for eleven years in the television series M*A*S*H
and has acted in, written, and directed many feature films. He has starred often on Broadway, and his avid interest in science has led to his hosting PBS's Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 and has been nominated for thirty-one (and has won five) Emmy Awards. He is married to the children's book author and photographer Arlene Alda. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren. For more information, visit alanaldabook.com