"If there is a sin against life," Albert Camus wrote, "it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life." Many of the world's religions challenge people to be grateful for what they have and to not give in to the insatiable desires, which drive them to always want more. Yet the instinct to never be satisfied and to look beyond the present precious moment is very strong. Timothy Miller, a cognitive psychologist, believes in the value of breaking such habits. In this insightful book, he challenges readers with attitudes and actions designed to bring about a change of heart.
Miller looks to the wisdom traditions and finds three principles to help us appreciate what we have and renounce those things we don't have. The first is "Compassion" whereby individuals can see each human being as no better or worse than themselves and, in fact, as similar to themselves. Miller outlines methods to change non-compassionate ways of thinking into more compassionate ways of being.
Next, he considers "Attention" as a skill that enables us to live fully in the present moment while avoiding unnecessary value judgments. Miller concludes with "Gratitude" which he defines as "the intention to count your blessings every day, every minute, while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances."
Miller states that if you want to want what you have, you've got to work hard at it. This spiritual path is lit by being compassionate, paying attention, and responding with thankfulness to the circumstances of your life and the world around you.