A post-coronavirus evolution-based how-to for putting living ahead of work.
Bestselling author Frank Schaeffer offers a passionate political, social, and lifestyle “blueprint” for changes millions of us know are needed to rebalance our work lives with thriving relationships: Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy. Even before everything was disrupted by COVID-19 (not to mention by Trump), millions of Americans were already questioning capitalism’s “values.” We were already challenging the idea that your job defines you. We already knew something was wrong. Loneliness, frustration, and alienation were already on the rise. Even the most successful of us felt too busy, too preoccupied, and too distracted to enjoy what we intuitively know are life’s greatest rewards: vibrant relationships, family life, connection to others, involvement in our community, and the thrilling experience of love.
Fall in Love . . . builds a well-researched and entertaining bridge to living happier lives and to a better future. It shows us that based on a better understanding of our evolutionary selves, we can thrive in family life and in our work life, too. But to do both joyfully—and at the same time—depends on rediscovering the priority of relationships, connections, community, and love.
About the Author
Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction books. Frank is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed writer who overcame severe dyslexia, a homeschooled and self-taught documentary movie director, and a feature film director of four low-budget Hollywood features that he describes as “pretty terrible.” He is also an artist with a loyal following of collectors who own many of his oil paintings. He has spoken at dozens of major universities, libraries, and museums from the Hammer in LA to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Frank’s three semiautobiographical novels about growing up in a fundamentalist mission, Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma, have been translated into nine languages. His video blogs posted on Facebook have had millions of views.
Frank is a guest commentator on MSNBC with Joy Reid and has been frequently interviewed by Rachel Maddow. He has also been interviewed on almost every major TV news show from Oprah to the Today show to 20/20. His memoir Crazy for God is used as a textbook in the history of religion classes and courses in comparative religion and sociology in public and private universities. In her extended NPR interview with Frank about his memoir Crazy for God, Terry Gross called it out as a very important book. Frank’s book Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story about Love and the United States Marine Corps was a New York Times bestseller and was described by the commandant of the Marine Corps as a new “Marine family Bible.” Frank is a progressive activist who has actively campaigned for liberal political candidates
“Frank Schaeffer excels at understanding his own experiences and how they reflect our world. He is smart, thoughtful, and funny, too! Wonderful book.”
—Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist, essayist, and biographer
“In Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy—Schaeffer’s new tour de force—he makes the bold argument that we should focus on living meaningful lives rather than making money and seeking validation from our jobs. Schaeffer’s argument takes him down paths that will surprise, delight, and even shock readers. This is an essential read. I hope it starts a new movement.”
—Charlotte Gordon, author of Romantic Outlaws: The Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, winner of the National Book Critics Circle award
"Frank Schaeffer’s book Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy, has all the ingredients for a successful life, but is the opposite of what is being sold in our culture. May we see a transformation in our lifetime, if not, in our children’s lifetime, and for future generations, as we cannot continue down this path of isolation, struggle, and greed.”
—Johanna (José) Zeilstra, CEO, Gender Fair, a Public Benefit Corporation; board member and former Wall Street executive specializing in helping companies improve on gender equity and diversity
“You’ve really got something here. Hope everyone recognizes how badly Fall In Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy is needed by the rest of the country now more than ever. I really like it! Basically, Love, dummy!” —Myrna Perez Sheldon, professor of Classics and World Religions, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Ohio University; editor of Cosmologics Magazine
“Frank Schaeffer has written a revolutionary manifesto for our deeply troubled world. Reading this book feels like time spent with a wise, challenging, sometimes cantankerous friend who, like Rilke’s ‘Archaic Torso of Apollo’is looking back at you with a simple demand: Change your life.”
—Laura Dawn, filmmaker; founding cultural director, MoveOn.org; founder and CEO, ART NOT WAR
“Frank Schaeffer has been an important voice to me personally on so many topics, from religion to politics, to how to bring up children. But Frank is also a deeply committed father and grandfather, and his insights on family connections are profound. Frank's book encourages us to push back against the ideals of our culture, to prioritize time and connection over 'success' and ego. In Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy, Frank makes his compelling case through both research and deeply touching anecdotes from his life as a doting grandfather. This book a deeply needed and timely exploration of what it means to be a good human.”
— Kristen Howerton, marriage and family therapist, author of Rage Against the Minivan
“Reading Frank Schaeffer is a journey into a mind and heart shaped by powerful religious forces few of us can imagine. Liberated from a fundamentalist Christian past, Frank refuses to be angry and bitter. Instead, he uses his awesome gifts (as filmmaker, painter, poet, blogger, columnist, TV personality and bestselling author) to confront and condemn the evil ‘family values’ he inherited and at the same time—as in this book—help us imagine a whole new set of real family values built on love that are absolutely necessary if we are to survive the next wave of fundamentalism sweeping our nation.”
— Mel White, clergyman, activist author of Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America
“Frank Schaeffer is one of my favorite authors. He brings wisdom, wit, and warmth to whatever he writes. His new book goes to the heart of everything, really, inviting us to fall in love with what matters most. It’s like a feast of sanity in these crazy times.”
—Brian D. McLaren, author of Faith After Doubt
“When the cerebral power and control structure of the nepotistic sidekick meets up with the heartfelt longing to nurture vulnerable living beings with openness, spontaneity, humor, and protectiveness, Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy is inevitable. Who knew that a pandemic could so profoundly alter a human being’s definition of success? Motherhood comes in many forms and bodies, and Frank Schaeffer’s lived experience is that capitalism has ripped the mothering impulse from so many hearts and bodies, especially men. For the sake of our children, our planet, and the deepest humanity in all of us, it must be reclaimed, championed, and practiced. None of the directives in the book’s title can be fully experienced unless we allow nurturing care to redefine our identity, our values, and our purpose for being alive on this Earth. As a feminist and a recovering evangelical, I am deeply indebted to you for writing this book.”
—Carolyn Baker, author of Confronting Cristofascism: Healing the Evangelical Wound and Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse