Score: 96/100 (9.6 out of 10)
This is a TERRIFIC book. There, we said it! “Enough About Me” by Richard Lui is a must read for every American regardless of age, race, orientation, gender, or political affiliation. Every single American should read this book!
It's such a pleasant read from beginning to end. Richard Lui's life, thoughts, and stories are golden. The lessons we take away from this book—the greatest of which are to love and care for others and to think beyond ourselves—are superb. These are lessons and values that our kids are supposed to be learning in schools that are instead being forgotten, untaught, and eroding along with society before our very eyes. Fearfully, newer generations of adults are emerging as less grateful, less social, less compassionate, and less caring. It's an age of rampant individualism, a “Me, Me, Me” attitude, and an “us versus them” mentality. The author uses the term “meism” to describe this malady.
We also live in an era of extremes—whether you are Right or Left, Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. There is seemingly no middle ground anymore. Not since the American Civil War has President Lincoln's warning, that the greatest enemy to the United States is from within, rang more true. Put more eloquently in Lincoln's words: “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”
Richard Lui is a student of history, but he's also a student of experience—of trial and error—of successes, failures, near-successes, and near-failures. THIS is wisdom. It's the ability to look at all sides and say, “Hey, maybe there's a legitimate reason we believe the things we believe, think the way we think, and do the things we do. Maybe there are lessons to learn and positives to take away from all sides.”
We've had no shortage of political and ethics books, but there's something about this particular book that's special. It's hard to put our finger on it, but it's one of the things that you just know it when you feel it. There's heart and soul in this book. It breathes.
This book isn't a book about complaining about something or bemoaning a tragic and/or turbulent life. It's not a book about the evil people in our society--a witch hunt to find the next "Great Satan." There's no ranting. There's no raving. There are no tirades. And yet... there's still emotion in here. It's raw and real.
This book isn't just about the author's incredible experiences as a journalist and news anchor for CNN, MSNBC, and NBC—that would be awesome on its own—it's also about the author's journey and in him learning from the interactions and experiences he had with people, most importantly with his father and grandmother. Richard Lui is an Asian-American immigrant whose grandfather, it turns out, had illegally paid his way into the USA through a sort of fraudulent scheme that became know as the “paper sons” His father, Stephen Lui, became a recognized and respected Asian-American Christian minister, eventually earning him the “Spirit of Martin Luther King” award, before his life was upended by Alzheimer's disease—a major focus of the book. As mentioned, another great section of this book involves Richard Lui's relationship with his grandmother, a woman who spoke no English while Richard spoke no Cantonese (her language). Somehow, the two were still able to coexist, love, and learn from each other. We can only imagine how differently Richard Lui's life had been if his grandfather's scheme to immigrate had failed. It's food for thought.
And, of course, the news stories that Lui covers are viewed from a fresh lens—the lens of an off-duty news anchor and journalist—unbridled and uninhibited by editors and producers (although, to be fair, it seems like Lui's employers treat him very well and usually seem to nurture his gifts).
These news stories include the 2004 Russian aircraft bombings (which are presented as breaking news, with limited knowledge and context), the 2018 Stoneman High School or Parkland shooting—the deadliest high school shooting in US history for which the murderer is scheduled for sentencing next month; the November 2015 Paris attacks, the 2014 Ferguson shooting and riots, the 2019 Midland-Odessa shooting (and the heroic couple that decided to warn other drivers/families at a risk to themselves), and much more. These stories are presented with tremendous journalistic integrity.
There are also some beautiful life lessons to take away from this book, and not just cliché things like quoting Confucius. One of the great lessons that we took away from this is how you should water more than one plant—nurture more than one passion. The author makes the analogy to a gardener who decided to water three different plants of various sizes versus a gardener who only watered their biggest plant.
The gardener who only watered his biggest plant had a great plant for a little while, however when the weather changed, the plant struggled to survive and eventually died, leaving the gardener with nothing to fall back on. Meanwhile, the gardener who watered and cared for all three of his plants saw that sometimes one plant would struggle during a certain season, however another would thrive. The gardener was then able to enjoy their plants at different times, and the plants came to flower and give fruit year-round in increments rather than all at once.
This analogy is compared to the success of PayPal, which was Ebay's pet project for a while, simply a way for them to accept payments. PayPal is now worth almost twice as much as Ebay is, and that's because its creators didn't put all their eggs in one basket or only water one plant.
We thought we caught a typo, then Richard Lui--being a good sport--acknowledged it and let us enjoy it. It reads: "Who cooks, cleans, and does the laundry? Who cleans up the baby? Who breastfeeds the dishes?" (Page 85) That is definitely going to be a front-runner for "Funniest Moment!"
This is the same man who saw a “no go zone” designation and decided that he just needed to go there to get the scoop and confirm his belief that there is good to be found everywhere and in all people.
There's so much good in this book, and it holds tremendous value. We have to give it our highest score so far: a 9.6 out of 10!
Check out Richard Lui's official site!