If your house were on fire, what would you take with you? That, in a nutshell, is the premise behind this provocative book. Kolbell, psychotherapist and former minister of social justice at NYC's Riverside Church, asks more than a dozen people-some famous, most not-that very question and divides them into four categories: seekers, artists, iconoclasts, and survivors. Among those polled are Jane Pauley, Alan Alda, a rabbi, a Buddhist priest, a jazz violinist, a storyteller, an Afghan-war veteran, and the first woman to serve in the city's fire department and also one of the responders at the World Trade Center during 9/11. A house, suggests Kolbell, is more than just a collection of objects. It contains "everything you are." That includes your beliefs and principles, likes and dislikes, fears and memories. Ultimately, in deciding what you will take and what you will leave behind, Kolbell says, "you are declaring a kind of values hierarchy." A fascinating examination of values, moral
"In When Your Life Is On Fire Erik Kolbell listens, provokes, and most of all, shares with us the enduring lessons and insights of life and faith as realized by a diverse population of thoughtful people. It's a town hall of the soul."