In 2004, my father-in-law was diagnosed with an inoperable stage 4 brain tumor at the age of 56. Shortly after learning the news, my wife and I loaded a moving truck and moved from Seattle, WA to Denver, CO to spend as much time with him as possible. As the cancer took more and more of Dad away, I was struck by the fact that I wasn't just losing him, but also the collection of life experiences that made him who he was. All his advice, all his know-how, all his suggestions for navigating the joys and sorrows of life were, bit by bit, going away too.
As we were getting settled in Denver, some of my closest friends back in Seattle were getting ready to tie the knot and asked me to be the best man. I'd known the couple for years and wanted to do something really special for them. After a lot of thought and reflection, I settled on creating a collection of insights and instructions about how to have a happy marriage written by their family and friends.
Soon thereafter, my wife and I wrote a letter to each couple invited to their wedding and asked them to answer the following question:
“What is the secret for having a happy marriage?”
The response was overwhelming. Every couple that got the letter, from parents and grandparents to friends, teachers and coaches wrote back and shared their secrets with us. Some were funny, some were moving, and all were filled with practical advice and useful wisdom. That first book contained over 80 contributions and was a huge hit.
And then, a just short time after sharing in their big day, we got a phone call. The bride's father had suffered a massive heart attack and unexpectedly passed away.
After the initial shock of the news wore off, I remembered the book we made and opened the files on my computer. And there, just a few pages inside the cover, was his advice to his daughter and new son-in-law for having a happy marriage. While it was only a few sentences long, it captured what he wanted most for his daughter and his advice on how to get there.
It was in that moment, that the idea for The Wisdom of Others was born.
We'd like to thank
Our amazing family and friends that gave us equal parts constructive criticism and encouragement as we grew The Wisdom of Others from our kitchen table to what it is today.
As seen on...