Cambridge Forum: John Leland
How to Be Happy
March 5, 2019
First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Cambridge Forum welcomes New York Times reporter JOHN LELAND—author of Hip: The History and Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of “On the Road” (They’re Not What You Think)—as he discusses his views on choosing happiness, and lessons he learned while interviewing the elderly for his New York Times column. Learn more about the event here.
About Happiness Is a Choice You Make
In 2015, when the award-winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of the New York Times to meet members of America’s fastest-growing age group, he anticipated learning of challenges, of loneliness, and of the deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. But the elders he met took him in an entirely different direction. Despite disparate backgrounds and circumstances, they each lived with a surprising lightness and contentment. The reality Leland encountered upended contemporary notions of aging, revealing the late stages of life as unexpectedly rich and the elderly as incomparably wise.
Happiness Is a Choice You Make is an enduring collection of lessons that emphasizes, above all, the extraordinary influence we wield over the quality of our lives. With humility, heart, and wit, Leland has crafted a sophisticated and necessary reflection on how to “live better”―informed by those who have mastered the art.
“Inspired and inspiring." ―Jane E. Brody, New York Times
"John Leland’s practical, powerful insights into the rich experiences of the 'oldest old' can guide all of us to lead happier lives―no matter what our age.” ―Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
"Engrossing . . . Few books about aging show such clarity and purpose or so deftly blend clear-eyed examinations of social issues with a realistic but hopeful cast of mind. In this edifying and often quite moving book, Leland presents the "lessons" taught by his subjects even as they themselves are learning them, and he does so with an empathy and thoroughness that deserve our gratitude." ―Kirkus (starred review)
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand called Crimson Corner. Turn right and proceed north along Mass. Ave. going toward the Cambridge Common. You will pass the Harvard Coop, Bank of America, and CVS. The First Parish Church is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Church St. Please enter through the front door of the church.
For the past fifty years, Cambridge Forum has provided free public forums for the discussion of the issues and ideas that are shaping our world. From culture to technology, the environment to public policy, Cambridge Forum offers citizens vital information about the challenges facing contemporary society.
Forum programs, which are edited and produced for subsequent broadcast on public radio stations nation-wide, feature the nation's most noted thinkers, creators, social entrepreneurs, and leaders from the worlds of academia, business, government, media and the arts. Programs are held in Harvard Square with book sales provided by Harvard Book Store.
Learn more at cambridgeforum.org.
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