Meanwhile, heroism is often some seriously boring stuff. It’s not about getting sucked into someone’s family soap opera, for example, or eloping to give an abuse victim the only love he’s known, but instead staying gently and firmly out of it while he works things out. It’s not in going 10 rounds with parents who don’t understand you, but instead in listening to them, especially to stuff you don’t want to hear. It’s in weighing their concerns honestly, choosing what makes sense to you, and accepting the consequences of that choice.I used to get my weekly quota of gossip from inside the front cover of Parade magazine. One page and I was good to go for another week. Now I'll read one of Carolyn's columns and not only do I get my quota of emotional dreck, but I might learn something as well.
Heroism often is not in rescuing or crusading or executing grand gestures, but in remaining a consistent force of decency and integrity through waves of emotional temptation. - Carolyn Hax, adivce columnist in The Washington Post
Just before this bit she mentions The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. I just finished In The Woods which featured a psychopath (sociopath?), so this sounds intriguing. Turns out it's a boring self-help book. It might be full of good advice, and the advice might help some people, but I've been around the block a couple of times so I doubt whether I would enjoy it.
I wonder too, whether it would have done me any good 45 years ago. There are some things you can learn from books, and there are some things some people just have to learn from experience. Maybe I'm just lucky to have survived my experiences.