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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Words of Gratitude
For Mind, Body, and Soul
Robert A. Emmons, Joanna Hill
Templeton Foundation Press 10/01 Hardcover $12.95
ISBN: 1-890151-55-6


What is gratitude? "It is a feeling, a moral attribute, a virtue, a mystical experience, and a conscious act, all in one," write Robert A. Emmons, a professor of psychology, and Joanna Hill, director of the Templeton Foundation Press. "Gratitude is a universal human experience that can be either a random occurrence of grace or an attitude chosen to create a better life."

This handy resource will spur you on to living a life of unimpeded thankfulness. The authors present a rounded overview of this spiritual practice that is heralded in the sacred writings, prayers, and teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Emmons and Hill see gratitude as a behavior trait that deepens and enriches both our private and public lives. They show how it can be cultivated as a conscious psychological tool, a personal act of self-expression, and a spiritual practice. Best of all, this volume contains a soulful selection of quotations on gratitude by Thomas Merton, Albert Schweitzer, Ralph H. Blum, Johannes A. Gaertner, Emanuel Swedenborg, Abraham Maslow, and others.

The grand master of gratitude, Brother David Steindl-Rast, provides a sparkling introduction where he defines gratitude as "an attitude we can freely choose in order to create a better life for ourselves and for others." The Nigerian Hausa put it this way: 'Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.' " Read this little book with this attitude and you'll find in it an abundance of gifts and blessings!"

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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