Addie Johnson lives in Brooklyn, is an actor, and helps run Rising Phoenix Rep, a small developmental theatre company. She's also an editor and author of two books including Lemons to Lemonade: Little Ways to Sweeten Up Life's Sour Moments. Here the focus is on the many ways we can live in gratitude. In the introduction Johnson writes:
"Our word 'gratitude' comes from the Latin gratus, which means both thankful and pleasing. To give thanks is to get pleasure. It is linked to our word 'grace,' both in the sense of general elegance and beauty and in the sense of one of our highest ideals, the state of grace in which we are closest to divinity. It is linked to community and propriety in the sense of our graciousness to one another. Gratitude encircles us in a perpetual cycle of giving and receiving, multiplying our gifts as we offer them and enriching us as we give."
This nicely designed book is divided into sections on:
• Giving, Gratitude, and Grace: A Way of Life
• The Power of Words, the Wonder of Deeds
• Everyday Thank Yous, Lifelong Wellness
• Offering Thanks, Receiving Abundance
Johnson shares many ways we can connect with others, tally up the treasures and blessings in our lives, and celebrate the wonders that abound in our world of constant surprises. For those who still savor letters, Johnson includes a potpourri of them where people express their thanks. She suggests practices and activities which can bring a richer sense of civility and conviviality into our lives. And she shares a large crosscut of snappy quotations from many illustrious artists, thinkers, and writers.
Here are some of our favorite quotations from the book:
• "It is expressly at those times when we feel needy that we will benefit the most from giving."
— Ruth Ross
• "Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
— Henry Ward Beecher
• "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."
• "The dedicated life is the life worth living. You must give with your whole heart."
— Annie Dillard
• "Every time we remember to say 'thank you,' we experience nothing less than heaven on earth."
— Sarah Ban Breathnach
• "No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night."
— Elie Wiesel