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Greenlights is a memoir filled with homespun wisdom that McConaughey has wrung from his toils and travels. He has fortified his remembrances with the coinages and maxims he dutifully recorded in decades’ worth of personal journals. McConaughey wants readers to look beyond the boldface name on its cover and focus on its fundamental message. No one can escape hardship, he said, but he can share the lessons “that helped me navigate the hard stuff…” And as his mother said, “What has remained consistent in Matthew’s life is his honesty and being true to himself, knowing who he was and owning it.”
Codifying his beliefs and putting them down on paper was one test.
McConaughey hunts for what he calls “greenlights” — the traffic signals that mean go, and which he believes take skill and acumen to identify. To conclude that life is all about luck, he said, is to surrender to fatalism: “Quit letting yourself off the hook, McConaughey. If that’s true, then run every red light. You’ve got your hands on the wheel. You’re making choices. They matter.”
He tried to light a candle in the darkness and find some optimism at an otherwise dire time. “Could this actually be a banner year, where things got started?” he asked. “Where we got cleansed? A little evolution would be nice.” – New York Times book review