Join our giveaway below for a chance to win one of three book sets on personal growth!
By Ilia U.
It is inevitable for life to break us. Death, tragedy, deep humiliation, injustice — these are all very common occurrences and yet, as human beings, we seem sorely unprepared for them.
There is also a loneliness that comes with unimaginable loss. We never feel most isolated, most alone than in the midst of pain and grief. This is, perhaps, why Option B is compelling. I wouldn’t normally feel that Sheryl Sandberg’s life is similar to my own. She is, after all, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, a woman with real power and influence, with vast resources easily available to her. But reading how she dealt with her husband’s unexpected death, how grief became a permanent settler in her life, how she had to rebuild her world, made me feel a kinship with someone who would have otherwise felt like a stranger. Death and loss is humanity’s common denominator.
“I thought about how humans have faced love and loss for centuries, and I felt connected to something much larger than myself—connected to a universal human experience.”
Part memoir, part practical psychology (thanks to Adam Grant’s insights and contribution), part crash course on how to pick up yourself after catastrophe has wrecked your life — Option B is an honest, big-hearted read full of small but useful strategies to help you move past the hard times, and perhaps find yourself a stronger person in the aftermath.
Although its prose can feel somewhat fragmented, what I appreciate most about Option B is how rooted it is in the realities of everyday life. It doesn’t peddle the “mind over matter” type of cliches that the self-help genre is often replete with. Both Sandberg and Grant realize that people need real, tangible things to help them overcome grief and keep them from spiraling down a ravine of hopelessness: financial support; physical companionship; safety nets like insurance, healthcare, good access to childcare support; faith and prayer; and patience and encouragement from friends and colleagues.
“For people living on the edge, paid family leave, quality health care, and mental health coverage can make the difference between hanging on and falling off.”
Sandberg is also always fully aware that she has access to resources that most people don’t —she then uses this as a springboard to point out how much work needs to be done to make sure nobody gets left behind when disaster strikes, as it surely will. (This read will be particularly insightful for policy makers, whether in government or in the private sector, as it sheds light on how our institutions can build support systems that everyone will eventually need.)
Option B is not just a book for those dealing with pain or for those desperately picking up the shards of their life, it is a fruitful read for everyone. It can teach you how to see life as a journey on a sea of constant change, of frequent storms, of gusting winds that sometimes takes you off-course — but it can also show you that, with some help and a sober perspective, a way back to shore is possible.
Join our giveaway for a chance to win one of three book sets on personal growth!
Ilia gave up instant coffee three years ago and never looked back. Words are her first love but she also works with numbers now.
[Thoughts and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fully Booked. Then again, we love our authors anyway.]