PBS NewsHour |  "The Wisdom of the Sea" examines the challenges and joys of aging |  Season 2023 |  ThinkTV

PBS NewsHour | “The Knowledge of the Sea” examines the challenges and joys of growing older | Season 2023 | ThinkTV

JEFF BENNETT: America was launched to Maury Schwartz virtually 30 years in the past.

The retired sociology professor gained nationwide consideration again in 1995 when he spoke with Ted Koppel on ABC’s “Nightline” about his battle with ALS, sharing his poignant and considerate reflections on demise.

MAURY SCHWARTZ, ALS affected person: Typically within the morning I am indignant and bitter, but it surely’s not for too lengthy.

Then I get up and say: I need to dwell.

So I have to cry and I have to mourn.

However I additionally should benefit from the life I’ve left.

JEFF BENNETT: This sequence of interviews later impressed Mitch Albam to put in writing the best-selling e-book Tuesdays with Maury.

Years after Maury Schwartz’s demise, his son Rob Schwartz discovered a manuscript that his father had written however by no means printed.

He edited his father’s phrases into The Knowledge of the Sea: Residing and Ageing Creatively and Joyfully.

We sat down this week to debate the brand new e-book.

So once you discovered your father’s manuscript in a desk drawer years after his demise, what was going by way of your thoughts?

ROB SCHWARTZ, editor, The Knowledge of the Sea: Residing and Ageing Creatively and Joyfully: Effectively, I really talked to my father when he was writing the e-book, simply by likelihood.

I traveled in Asia.

And I returned to the USA to gather my ideas and issues.

And so I lived at residence for 3 months.

And I talked to my father so much about this e-book, so every thing got here again to me, what his ideas have been, what his concepts have been, why he was scripting this e-book.

And I actually have not considered it in a long time.

It was 20 years in the past once I found it, or so.

But it surely was longer, for much longer, earlier than he received sick of writing it.

So it actually was previously.

So it actually was a blast from the previous.

And I might simply hear his voice coming by way of each web page.

So it was actually stunning.

JEFF BENNETT: How did you resolve to edit it and in the end publish it?

ROB SCHWARTZ: Effectively, I instantly thought that was in all probability one thing I ought to do one thing with, given the success of Tuesdays from the Sea.

But it surely took me a very long time.

I imply, it took me a very long time to grieve my father.

I’d say that for the primary 5 years after he died, I could not grieve correctly as a result of I missed him a lot.

However it’s a grieving course of.

So I had so much occurring.

So I edited it in my spare time.

After which lastly I made a decision, okay, we have to complete this mission, get it out the door, and that is the place we are actually.

JEFF BENNETT: This e-book is supposed to be a companion to Tuesdays of the Sea, is that the intention behind it, or is it a basically totally different method?

ROB SCHWARTZ: I imply, the method is slightly bit totally different, however I actually assume it is form of a companion piece to Tuesdays with Maury as a result of a number of the concepts in that e-book are much like the concepts in Tuesdays with Maury.

It is a very stunning however very delicate e-book by Mitch, it is like dipping into my father’s concepts, some concepts on that, some concepts.

It is a lot deeper, delving a lot deeper into my father’s ideas, each in a sensible and psychological sense.

He was a professor of social psychology.

And you’re going to get it on this e-book.

It isn’t tutorial, and it isn’t onerous to grasp what he is saying.

However you get a deeper psychological evaluation.

JEFF BENNETT: Effectively, the e-book is a extremely considerate evaluation of residing with extra pleasure in recent times.

In his reasoning, how does he counter the false notion that the growing older course of one way or the other turns into much less?


Effectively, that is precisely what I used to be simply hinting at.

First he begins an examination of this ageist thought and explains how toxic it’s and the way unsuitable it’s.

I imply, ageism is rather like all the opposite issues, the attitudes that folks have accepted previously are simply unsuitable and toxic, racism, sexism.

Ageism, precisely the identical.

That is devaluing somebody for no good cause, proper?

Simply because somebody is older doesn’t suggest they’re much less human, much less invaluable, have much less good concepts, much less creativity, and so forth, and different isms which are actually terrible.

And the start of the e-book, he says, it’s good to eliminate these concepts.

And these concepts additionally contaminated us psychologically.

So it’s good to eliminate it.

This is sort of a start line.

After which in the event you need assistance being extra artistic or extra joyful, do this, do this or that, and I can clarify these concepts as properly.

JEFF BENNETT: The chapters on the finish of the e-book give attention to key parts of happiness in later life.

So what are these key parts?

ROB SCHWARTZ: Effectively, I imply, I believe, because the title suggests, my father desires you to be artistic, he desires you to be joyful, and people parts should do with discovering one thing that pursuits you, being concerned in society or perhaps a specialised curiosity, strengthening ties with household, mates.

And he’s actually in opposition to the truth that folks, they are saying, withdraw from society, and much more so in opposition to the truth that individuals are shoved into nursing houses and forgotten about.

So he actually desires folks to be concerned in society as an entire, in teams that curiosity them, the place their pursuits lie, and naturally of their household and their mates.

JEFF BENNETT: He additionally leaves us with some ideas to dwell by.

I need to learn a couple of of them: “In maturity, anticipate the worst.

If it does not come, be grateful.

In maturity, anticipate the perfect.

If you do not get it, take into consideration why.

Outdated age might be the perfect or worst time of our lives.

It depends upon what we do with it.”

That is insightful and touching recommendation.

It is also very sober and easy.

Was that your father?

ROB SCHWARTZ: Completely, however really he was stuffed with nice pleasure and nice childlike marvel on the world.

And he actually encourages folks to maintain that angle.

We dwell in such an unimaginable, fantastic world with so many wonderful issues.

And he actually continuously skilled it.

So, in a manner, that is how I see him.

In one other sense, you might be completely proper.

He was a deep thinker.

He approached the matter instantly.

He didn’t purchase into any ideology or something.

He checked out precisely the way it affected folks’s lives and the way he might hope to make their lives happier and extra joyful.

And that is what this e-book is about.

JEFF BENNETT: How did modifying this manuscript change what you thought you knew about your father.

ROB SCHWARTZ: Oh, that is an attention-grabbing query.

I actually by no means thought he would embrace any ageist concepts.

I imply, he handled everybody with respect.

And originally of the e-book, you notice that he places it on himself.

He says: I had unfavourable ideas about growing older and the aged.

And I spotted that I have to erase it from myself.

So it actually says one thing about itself.

And – yeah, and I really did not know that about him.

He at all times appeared so younger at coronary heart.

Due to this fact, maybe, it’s comprehensible that he didn’t take into account himself an aged individual.

however in fact he was, and that is why he wrote this e-book.

JEFF BENNETT: Rob Schwartz.

The e-book “Knowledge of the Sea”.

Thanks very a lot for stopping by.

ROB SCHWARTZ: Oh, thanks.

Author: ZeroToHero

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