Case No. 218
You’re rich, and you made the dough yourself...Your wife had a cancer scare, but she’s recovered and by your side, just as she’s been for more than 60 years. Asked to rate the marriage on a scale of 1 to 9...you circle the highest number. You’ve got two good kids, grandkids too. A survey asks you: “If you had your life to live over again, what problem, if any, would you have sought help for and to whom would you have gone?” “Probably I am fooling myself,” you write, “but I don’t think I would want to change anything.” If only we could take what you’ve done, reduce it to a set of rules, and apply it systematically.
Case No. 47
You literally fell down drunk and died. Not quite what the study had in mind.
In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects [a longitudinal study of 268 at Harvard in the late 1930s], Vaillant was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”