As a therapist, Dr. Samer G. Touma guides people through their feelings of regret towards a pathway to meaning and purpose in their lives. He works with clients to help them make wise choices, ones that can assist them in building character and constructing a fulfilling life without regrets. In Never Say I’m Sorry, he discusses these ideas.
Touma believes that character is a person’s most important quality. In his book, he lists the five elements of character as: respect, forgiveness, honor, gratefulness, and grace. He then breaks down each of those elements into acronyms to share insights into their components. Respect, for example, breaks down as: responsibility, energy, spirituality, personal ethics, excellence, care, tolerance/thoughtfulness—with each of those characteristics described.
Touma shares wisdom gleaned through his therapist career, and he asks thought-provoking questions, such as: “Can you sit back and recall some of the small wonders that have graced your life?”; “When I do something that violates another person, another culture, or the law, do I acknowledge it and learn from it? Or do I convince myself that what I did is okay?” The book is logically constructed and the author has clearly considered each topic carefully. He defines abstract concepts about character development well.
There are challenges, however. Touma is tackling a deep subject, and each of the five elements are also weighty subjects. In a short book such as this (a scant 64 pages), each component receives a relatively small amount of text. This can leave readers wanting more in-depth explanations. Anecdotes about how the presence of each character element can play out in people’s lives would help, even if they were anonymous or composite examples.
Touma’s book might interest people who enjoy reading about philosophy and/or psychology or readers who seek self-help advice from experienced professionals. But the slim offering is also likely to leave both audiences wishing for a bit more.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.