I’ve never been one to idolize celebrities or really be all that interested in the entertainment industry, but Richard Hammond just happens to be that one exception. After watching him for years on BBC’s Top Gear and hearing about his horrendous crash, I couldn’t help but realize what an incredibly positive person he’s been on the world around him. When he had his accident, Britain really poured out their support not for a celebrity, but for an individual who possesses an extraordinary passion for life and everything that it brings.
Hammond’s most recent book, On The Edge, recounts his early life and how he obtained his dream job, as well as what it was like to almost have everything taken away. I really enjoyed the story because it ended up making the man all the more human. Forget that he makes millions and think of him as your boyhood friend sitting on the curb with you and shooting the breeze as you imagine all the cool things that you’re going to do when you grow up. It turns out that it isn’t completely about the interest in automobiles, but having a deep dedication to something that you love and adore.
I read some other reviews of his book and noticed that many readers disliked the story because it told of a miraculous recovery that was possibly due to the exceptional treatment he was given as a result of his wealth. While this may or may not be true, I think that those reviewers missed the point of the story. It’s not about a celebrity’s daily life, but a story about a man who grew up from humble beginnings, worked hard to live his life doing something he loves and spends as much time as possible with those that he adores. Who couldn’t relate to the desire of such things?