Skokie author paves way toward fulfillment
Dr. Steven Steinberg is the author of "Light, Love, Life, Shalom," which provides a path to happiness at work and at home. The author has faced life's challenges in a big way. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
“LIGHT, LOVE, LIFE, SHALOM”
Author: Dr. Steven Steinberg
Updated: September 10, 2012 12:56PM
SKOKIE — “I am a dentist with Parkinson’s disease,” writes Steven Steinberg in the opening of his inspirational book titled “Light, Love, Life, Shalom.”
He might be just the right person to take readers toward those fulfillments at home and at work, which is what his self-published book holds out.
Steinberg doesn’t just talk the talk of a self-help healer; he leads the way by example.
His life became upended by two unforeseen developments — a severe bicycle accident more than 10 years ago and the subsequent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
It was the latter that forced him to give up his dental practice — and only about six months after he moved to a new location in Skokie. He had invested a lot of money in the new work venue, only to have to sell it when he could no longer work.
“I loved dentistry,” he said. “I could take someone who was in pain and make that pain end.“
He writes in his book that every pre-accident day he would “wake up with purpose” and “look forward to another day filled with meaning, joy and inner peace.” In many ways, his book is how he still is able to accomplish that with so much in his life involuntarily changed.
As a professional speaker and author, Steinberg now considers himself “the values doctor,” encouraging others on how to address life’s problems despite obstacles that fall in the way.
“Steinberg’s professional speaking business has a mission to inspire and enlighten people to find meaning and value in their life and work,” his website states. “He named his business ‘Speaking of Values’ because values are maps and tools that guide us through life. His presentations help you, your organization or your association create better maps and, from them, a better model for business and life.”
Whether in front of a crowd or one on one or on the written page, Steinberg maintains a palatable passion for life and an eagerness to share why this is so.
The book shines a light on modern spirituality and happiness using the four Jewish values of light, love, life and shalom.
One reader calls it “a conversation about optimism and a call to action” at Amazon.com, where the book can be purchased.
“Dr. Steinberg craftily weaves together psychology, medicine, Jewish philosophy and mysticism to create an uplifting conversation (precisely how you feel while reading — as if in conversation with the author),” writes the reader. “This book is not simply a library book that requires one read-through; rather, you will return to passages, charts, and chapters again and again.”
The author’s approach both in person and on the page is not solemn but more zestful and joyous; he has an infectious sense of humor and a charm that serves him well in his appearances.
On his website, Steinberg has one-minute lessons on “everything you need to know about Sukkot” and another on Yom Kippur. He also includes clips from some of his appearances.
He begins his presentations and his book with a difficult question that everyone asks at some time in their lives: “Why me?”
Steinberg certainly had reason to ask it himself with what befell him starting in 2001.
“All of us have had some sort of suffering, some sort of problem,” he said. “The pain of that problem is what is so difficult for us. We have to know where that pain comes from so we can ultimately choose happiness in the presence of pain and problems.”
The answer for happiness is, in large part, the power of love in something greater than yourself, he says.
“I call it God; you may call it something else,” he said.
“Light, Love, Life, Shalom” has a spiritual, philosophical and even religious fusion, but it embraces science as well. The author doesn’t see spirituality and science as enemies.
The end goal is to achieve happiness, a state of mind.
“Happiness is the joyful actualization of your meaning and purpose,” he said. “And because it has joy, which is a physical aspect, it also has meaning and purpose, which is a spiritual aspect.”
Steinberg has found just that happiness despite life-changing circumstances. He has learned to live with his Parkinson’s disease, to adjust to the challenges, and to share the meanings from his sometimes tumultuous journey.
His plan, he jokes, is to get every penny of disability until he is 65. The day after that he wants them to find a cure.
“What I tell people is that life is a terminal condition,” he said. “Like Parkinson’s disease, there is no cure. But you can heal. I don’t need a cure. I would like one but I don’t need one to have happiness.”