Fully alive Discovering what matters most

Timothy Shriver

Book - 2014

"A memoir and history of the Special Olympics and a meditation on what one can learn about how to live from people with intellectual disabilities, by the chairman of the Special Olympics"--

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New York : Sarah Crichton Books 2014.
First edition
Physical Description
287 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Timothy Shriver (author)
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A Kennedy family scion's moving story of how working on behalf of the socially marginalized and intellectually disabled opened his heart to new ways of understanding himself and others. Living to make a difference in the world was a Kennedy motto. But before Special Olympics chairman Shriver could successfully do this, he had to come to terms with himself, both spiritually and emotionally. In his youth, he immersed himself in the Bible and other sacred texts, as well as the writings of mystics like Bernard of Clairvaux and Jean Vanier. In the author's early professional life, he taught and counseled underprivileged children and adolescents in public high schools and universities in Connecticut. As he struggled to help change young lives, he became aware that to genuinely reach people, he had to learn to truly love himself. "God was not out there,' waiting for me to perform some act of brilliance or fame," he writes "but was rather within." As he came to value simplicity, Shriver also learned to value humility, which he learned in part by articulating the story of his mentally challengedand later tragically lobotomizedaunt Rosemary. Adored as she was, Rosemary spent almost all of her adult life hidden away in a Wisconsin care facility because of the shame she caused members of the high-achieving Kennedy clan. Shriver's mother, Eunice, eventually restored meaning to Rosemary's life by championing the cause of the intellectually disabled and founding the Special Olympics in 1968. When Shriver joined the organization in 1996, he oversaw its growth into a phenomenon that offered people around the world insight into what true leadership was: the ability to "[make] people want to be better." Even more importantly, he came into contact with extraordinary young athletes who taught him that the most important way of living was "from the inside out." Sincere, profound and deeply satisfying. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.