The legendary TV writer and producer urges viewers to not get too caught up on past mistakes and messy history: “I would advise anyone, including myself, that any moment you understand your life is good, then everything that led up to it was worthwhile.”
Lear’s latest book is his best-selling 2014 memoir Even This I Get to Experience.
Norman Lear: I would advise anyone, including myself, that any moment you understand your life is good, then everything that led up to it was worthwhile. And the reason I say that is not that I haven’t made mistakes. I’ve made some glorious mistakes and I’ve suffered in the life for those mistakes. But I’m sitting here talking to you this morning and my world, I am too concerned with the problems that envelop us everywhere. But in my personal world, I couldn’t be happier. I have six kids. They delight me thoroughly and they are all very close with one another. Our family get-togethers are the best thing going in my life. And so I figure, if I can say that at this moment, feel that at this moment, I wouldn’t change anything that got me here, you know. All the mistakes, all of the drama, all of the bullshit that went on earlier that was so much of which I was responsible for. If the moment you’re at is a great moment and you’re happy for who you are at this moment then everything that got you here is worthwhile. Because it’s all gone. That’s yesterday. Two of the most important words I think are over and next. When something is over, it is over and we’re all on to the next. And the hammock in the middle, between those two words, is what I think is meant by truly living in the moment. You know when I get up from this interview as great as it was, it’s over. There ain’t anything I can do if I wish to fix or change or I’ve done it; next. So I think being invested in next and not the past is best.