JB: In my opinion, they are, Hal! And somehow, despite that note of skepticism, I have a sneaking suspicion that you have no intention to stop what you're doing, let alone slow down. What are your plans going forward?
HU: I'll keep doing what I'm doing (writing/speaking) as long as I can. I'll be 76 in a month, but I'm pretty healthy. Time at the gym every morning helps. I don't like the R word - retired. Arthur Fiedler, the great conductor, once said, "He who rests, rots." I agree. John W. Gardner, one of my all-time heroes, said that we should not only be producing as we get older, but getting better at what we do right up to the end. He was teaching Ethics at Stanford when he died at age 89. When I grow up, I want to be like he was.
JB: It seems to me you're well on your way! Speaking of books, I understand you have a few more up your sleeve. Would you care to tell us anything about them?
HU: I have two ideas for books. One is a new and more readable version of Gardner's SELF-RENEWAL - the idea that we should always be getting better in each aspect of life. The other one is a book for kids - maybe 4th grade and up to young adulthood - a semi-fictional story about two kids who want to make the most out of their lives. They start asking around at an early age, and their search results in hooking up with older people who become their mentors, and teach them what it really means to be successful in life. The first chapter in my first book (LIFE'S GREATEST LESSONS) is "Success is more than making money." The first chapter in my most recent book (20 GIFTS OF LIFE) is "Good character is the foundation of a good life."
JB: Can't wait to read more of your stuff. What didn't we talk about yet that you'd like to add before we wrap this up?
HU: "Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa. I taught my students that we use three kinds of words: 1) Neutral - when we exchange information; neither positive nor negative. 2) Toxic - when we poison the atmosphere with our cruel, negative, filthy words. 3) Nourishing - when we stimulate life and growth with our kind words. Finally, every word that comes from our mouths is a CHOICE!
JB: Amen. Thanks so much for talking with me, Hal. It was lovely! Thanks for helping us to get back to treating one another with the respect we all deserve.
HU: My pleasure. Thank you for asking me.