Albert Ellis would have turned 103 today, September 27th, 2016.
If he were still on this earth, in all probability he would have preferred it to be yet another work day, for that was his passion, his absorbing interest - to help as many humans as possible, through his writings, lectures, workshops, and therapy sessions. With each passing year we were together, he seemed to display an increasing urgency to do more, contribute more. He was acutely cognizant of time passing so quickly - and he wanted to give and do as much as possible to help as many people as possible.
His work changed the world of psychotherapy and heralded in the cognitive revolution in that field. He was also a key figure in the sexual revolution of the twentieth century. He was a humanist, a fighter for civil rights, an idealist and a visionary. His wit was unique: little wonder that some writers referred to him as the Woody Allen of psychotherapy, and some of his Rational Humorous Songs are legendary.
His wisdom and breadth of knowledge were massive, he was a member of Mensa, and one of his many skills was his ability to translate his knowledge and research into language that academics respected, and that the person in the street could understand, embrace and apply.
Not so widely known to many, due to his larger-than-life personality that he displayed when presenting and teaching, was his very generous and gentle nature. He was humble and compassionate. He had a heart of gold.
As a teen and young man he kept a personal journal. I share a few brief extracts with you here. When merely 18 years of age he wrote:
"The best thing to do is not to waste away the hours thinking why you are here but, knowing that you are here, to make the best of it and try to get all the advantages that life can give you, with as few disadvantages as possible".
"If I become very rich...I would start a campaign for the betterment of humanity, both present and future".
" I would like to be pointed out in the future as one who, like Aristotle and others, advocated great things long before men in general took them seriously".
My remarkable husband achieved these things, and more, with courage, persistence, dignity and strength, despite and including times of intense opposition and other adversities.
He practiced what he preached, in good times and bad.