A debut spiritual memoir by a prominent businessman and Unitarian Universalist minister.
Sherblom grew up in the little town of Tiverton, Rhode Island. His father, a Baptist minister, struggled to provide for his large family, and they lived in depressing squalor. An ambitious boy, the author set out on a lifelong quest to make something of himself, and he possessed an unusual, complex mixture of business acumen and spiritual hunger. In this detailed accounting, the author effectively uses his own personal story to highlight six guiding spiritual disciplines that have served him well, and which offer a model of personal development. Sherblom has good reason to use his own life as a case study, as he succeeded in ways that most people can only dream of. He attended Yale University, where he found the free-wheeling student libertarian Party of the Right appealing and also campaigned for presidential candidate Jimmy Carter in New Haven’s first ward in 1976. After meeting his wife-to-be, Loretta, the author attended Harvard Business School. “I received highest honors,” Sherblom writes. “This was an inflection point in my life. I would never be poor again.” Much of the book centers on the outstanding business career that the author had in the biotechnology industry, and business-book aficionados may find his detailed, strategic entrepreneurial moves to be of interest. However, the story sometimes gets bogged down in financial minutiae. Each section of this autobiographical chronology deals with a different spiritual discipline: “Resilience,” “Surrender,” “Gratitude,” “Generosity,” Mystery,” and “Awakening.” Along the way, the focus gradually shifts from the business world to the author’s second career as a prominent Unitarian Universalist minister, whose fascination with transcendentalism suits his life in Concord, Massachusetts, near Walden Pond. Indeed, the last two chapters are an intriguing departure from the concrete details of high finance; he shows how he deepened his potential for mystical experience, leading him to multiple spiritual awakenings. Each chapter ends with a set of guided questions to stimulate thinking and discussion.
An often engaging, if sometimes overly complex, remembrance.