Do you know what I learned from writing [How We Die], if I learned nothing else? The more personal you are willing to be and the more intimate you are willing to be about the details of your own life, the more universal you are.
When you recognize that pain and response to pain is a universal thing, it helps explain so many things about others, just as it explains so much about yourself. It teaches you forbearance. It teaches you a moderation in your responses to other people's behavior. It teaches you a sort of understanding. It essentially tells you what everybody needs. You know what everybody needs? You want to put it in a single word? Everybody needs to be understood. And out of that comes every form of love.
- "Brain, Mind, and Spirit: The Wisdom of the Human Body," Sherwin Nuland's lecture given at the Chautauqua Institution (Aug. 22, 2005)
- "Fresh Air Remembers Surgeon And 'How We Die' Author Sherwin Nuland" (March 7, 2014)
- "How Electroshock Changed Me," TED Talk (Feb. 2001)
- "The Extraordinary Power of Ordinary People," TED Talk (Feb. 2003)
- Nuland, S. B. (1994). How we die: Reflections on life's final chapter. New York: A.A. Knopf. [library]
- Nuland, S. B. (1997). How we live. New York: Vintage Books. [library]