Verdict: CONVERSATIONS ON THE BENCH provides a warm, funny, often poignant collection of a man's lifetime of real-world wisdom designed to benefit generations to come.
An account of one man’s lifetime of knowledge on how to lead a satisfying, successful and ultimately emotionally fulfilled life, divided into 25 essential lessons.
When author Digger has a chance meeting with Sebastian and Robbie at a retreat at a golf course, he isn’t expecting his perception of life to be dramatically altered. And yet, after spending some time with the two men, Digger begins to overhear a hard-earned trove of information about how to lead the best possible life one can. Robbie, a former 1990’s day trader, and Sebastian, an older man who spent the majority of his life working in the financial sector, met while both were working the evening shift at a local hotel and struck up a friendship.
Digger learns lessons that include never abandoning a position of strength within one’s own relationships and learning how and when to swallow one’s pride are recorded in a third-person format; early on, Digger explains that he has decided to structure the work to best illustrate the lessons, and therefore sometimes combines stories he has heard from Robbie and Sebastian in order to construct the narrative. The result is a trove of common sense derived from a lifetime of owning a business, relating with family members, and learning how to navigate the often tricky and frustrating world of customer relationships. While the advice contained within is invaluable, the work would benefit from being less of a straightforward retelling of two men’s conversation and rather a more vivid and perhaps imaginative portrayal: instead of a My Dinner With Andre format, the vivid lessons contained within might be better illustrated better with a more novelistic approach. However, the work does ultimately capture the essence and wisdom of Sebastian, creating a lasting testament to a man who was not fooled by the false goals of material possessions and wealth, but rather the deep-seated satisfaction that comes from leading a hardworking, honest life.
CONVERSATIONS ON THE BENCH provides a warm, funny, often poignant collection of a man’s lifetime of real-world wisdom designed to benefit generations to come.