Posted: February 22, 2021 in: Faith, Pain-2-Power, Person of the Week


My choice for the Pain-2-Power Person of the Week might surprise some of those who know that my politics are conservative and that I wrote the book, TRUMP YOUR LIFE.  But Hunter Biden deserves the honor of being the Pain-2-Power Person of the Week for one very good reason: Despite facing multiple federal investigations and being pilloried by the press, Biden’s publisher announced that he has written a book about his struggles with drug addiction.   And that takes guts.  It takes a willingness to not hide pain and turn it into the power to heal others.

Think what you will about Hunter Biden, opening up about your troubled past, when lots of people run from theirs, is heroic.

Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will publish Biden’s Beautiful Things this April.  No doubt the title was partly inspired by the loss of Hunter’s brother, Beau Biden, former Attorney General of Delaware, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46.  Hunter and Beau reportedly agreed after that diagnosis that beautiful things were what made life meaningful, but Beau’s name in the word beautiful also seems “meant to be.”

Losing Beau was just the most recent tragedy for Hunter Biden, whose traumatic experiences include the unfathomable loss of his mother and 13-month old sister in a car crash back in 1972 that he and his brother survived with broken bones.

I haven’t read Beautiful Things, but Stephen King has.  He commented, “In his harrowing and compulsively readable memoir, Hunter Biden proves again that anybody — even the son of a United States President — can take a ride on the pink horse down nightmare alley.  Biden remembers it all and tells it all with a bravery that is both heartbreaking and quite gorgeous. He starts with a question: Where’s Hunter?  The answer is he’s in this book, the good, the bad, and the beautiful.”

Sometimes, we can afford—all of us—not to be cynical, not to be partisan and to be simply human.  Hunter Biden has proved it by turning his pain into his power, offering up a narrative that could well help and heal others, even as he faces gargantuan forces aligned to destroy him.  We can prove it by not pretending that his having done so is a small thing.  It isn’t.

Dr. Keith Ablow



  1. LaVonne Roberts says:

    We all deserve the chance to better ourselves and who better to be inspired by than people who’ve survived loss. We are all human and it’s stories like Hunter’s that I hope will remind us that our lives will never grow until we can speak to all our neighbors. Loss isn’t partisan nor is forgiveness. You’ve always encouraged your patients to be the best version of themselves. I’m so grateful that included me.

  2. Keith Ablow says:

    Thanks, Tony. It used to be the case that comeback stories inspired people, regardless of their political persuasion. We’ve become too ready, I think, to withhold compassion and lead with cynicism, if not hatred. I appreciate you commenting on the blog, My Friend.

  3. Tony Natali says:

    Thank you for pointing out the way that we should look into all situations. Hunter deserves the chance to better himself.