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Reversal of Fortune with John Robbins[Program 175]
Reversal of Fortune with John Robbins

“We have a sickness in our society. If you say that somebody is a ‘success’, isn’t it that usually what you mean is that they’ve made a lot of money, or have a lot of money?...Whereas I would define a successful human being -- if you think twice about it, and question that assumption, you know, wouldn’t that actually be somebody who brings out the best in other people? Someone who gives -- adds beauty to the lives of others, in some way?”

-- John Robbins, author of “The New Good Life”



As a bright young man, John Robbins was the heir apparent to the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire. But in his early twenties, he and his wife Deo struck out on their own, turning away from the family wealth and choosing instead a subsistence lifestyle of deliberately simple living that included growing their own food. John eventually began writing books about his journey, his advocacy for the environment, and his commitment to a healthier and more sustainable food system. His books sold in the millions (including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated ‘Diet for a New America’), accruing a small fortune, this one earned on his own. But in 2008, he suddenly learned that he had lost almost everything to the scam-artist Bernard Madoff. It set off an unexpected family crisis, which nearly cost the Robbins their home and the secure future they tried to build for their special-needs grandchildren. This led to a fresh appraisal - discussed in this program - of what true wealth really means, and how in hard times it is still possible to achieve “an overflowing life, a generous life, and a joyful life.”

Total time: 29 Minutes

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