Dr. Sacks has certainly deepened our conversation and sharpened our insights about how to face the end of life with dignity, clarity and intentionality. His essays, originally published in the New York Times, drew millions of readers, and Gratitude has been on the best-seller list since it was published late last year.
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Spilman's prepared remarks consisted largely of useful, realistic advice about how to delay the cognitive decline most of us will experience at some point. The audience, ranging from 20-somethings to more than a few senior citizens, was furiously note-taking throughout (or furiously jotting down questions for the Q&A session to follow.)
Tonight, after an interminable build-up, we finally find out who will take home an Oscar -- and who will be forced to smile gamely when someone else's name is called. My can't-miss prediction: there will be at least two Fifty Shades of Grey jokes. Back in the real world, Walmart, the nation's largest employer, announced plans to hike its minimum wage. As the White House tweeted, "Good to see @Walmart raising wages for about 500,000 employees. Now it's time for Congress to #RaiseTheWage." On a sad note, Oliver Sacks announced that he has terminal cancer. He's taught us so much over the years, and continues to do so now about one of life's most challenging subjects: dying. "I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential," he writes. "I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude." Ours, too -- for this vital and timeless lesson.