By Oliver Sacks
Reviewed by Gary W. Silverman, CFP®
This book has absolutely nothing to do with financial anything. It is a book of clinical stories of people with one type or another of bizarre neurological conditions. And yes, one of them is the story of a man who mistook his wife for a hat.
The author, Oliver Sacks, has extensive clinical practice in neurology. He is currently a professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. In other words, he knows what he's talking about. Even more important, he is a great story teller.
This is not a recitation of medical terms or a compilation of research projects. It is a collection of insights into how humans function, because when you take away one of those functions, you can more clearly see how all of the others work. Dr. Sacks tells the story with the same awe and wonder as you or I would.
- A sailor caught forever in a world decades ago.
- A man who walks with a tilt like the Tower of Pisa and has no sensation of it.
- How a group of aphasiacs who, because they could not understand the actual words, could see the hilarity of a president's speech.
- A man who when flipped out on drugs killed his daughter and then could remember none of the incident, then, years later, an accident caused him to remember nothing but.
- And, of course, the man who mistook his wife for a hat. He could also teach advanced college courses in music and perform quite admirably himself.
In all there are two dozen stories all equal to these showing the intriguing functioning of the mind.
So, why in the world am I reviewing this for a bunch of financial planners? Simple; We work with people, and they all have their quirks. All of them, in one way or another ,are different. If you find yourself studying the humans you work with, wondering what makes them tick, then these stories will truly fascinate you.
In learning how the very dysfunctional function, you will learn more about those you serve and about yourself.
Gary W. Silverman, CFP®, owns a fee-only financial planning firm, Personal Money Planning, in Wichita Falls, Texas. He is the host of the television show Falls Informer, editor of the financial newsletter Personal Money Planning, and a frequent contributor to the print and broadcast media.
This book is available for purchase at Amazon.com