I don't read many show biz books. But on occasion, they can tell great stories about people's struggles, failures, and successes, both in their work and in their lives.
In his new memoir, Nevertheless, actor Alec Baldwin tells a fascinating story that begins with his parents raising six kids in a small two bedroom house with almost no money for anything. His life prospects didn't look rosy. But I won't go into the interesting details. He has certainly had his ups and downs as a public figure and as a human being. And he's able to write about these things with an unexpected measure of self reflection and honesty. I found that the book was well worth my time, and it may be worth yours. It may even spark insights into the life of someone you know.
I'm bringing the book to your attention today mainly because of two passages I'd like to quote. Baldwin is speaking in general. But he's also reflecting on his own trajectory in ways that apply to things we all face. Here's the first:
I love second chances. I love the concept of renewal. I love to see people come back from some adversity, self-inflicted or not, and untangle themselves from a difficult situation. They may correct some perceived mistake they've made. Make amends, if you will. Consequently, they prove to themselves and to others what they're capable of, what they're made of. You can call it redemption, or choose another word, but most important, they find some real degree of peace, even happiness. (page 245)
Now the second and related passage:
I believe that things change only when we are truly ready for the change. We come to a situation or event that could be a great turning point in our lives having been prepared by both adversity and hope. And then, if you let it, the future just opens like a flower, becoming more beautiful every day. (page 209)
These are wise words, and sentiments that we can all embrace. We have our ups and downs in this world. We make mistakes, and sometimes big ones. And then, we most often have a choice about what to do with what we've learned. The alchemy of wisdom can allow us a great gift of transformation and renewal at any stage of the adventure. We should keep this in mind for those around us we see stumble, and for ourselves when we're at our lowest points. Change can happen, and as a result, the future may just open like a flower from here on out.