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eBookChoosing Gratitude eBook • $8.99
In his latest book, Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life You Have, renowned author James A. Autry reminds us that gratitude is a choice, a spiritual—not social—process. Made evident as behavior, gratitude is not the behavior itself. We may automatically respond, “Thank you” or “Appreciate it” in the daily course of our lives. These are polite, conditioned responses, but they are not gratitude. Instead, gratitude is a way of life, a belief system, that means cultivating a spirit of thankfulness even through the negatives of life. It is remembering there will always be more reasons for gratitude than for despair.
In a society consumed by fears of not having “enough”—money, possessions, security, and so on—Autry suggests that if we cultivate gratitude as a way of being, we may not change the world and its ills, but we can change our response to the world. If we fill our lives with moments of gratitude, we will indeed love the life we have.
Growing into gratitude comes in discrete pieces: coming to see “calamity” as a deepening experience, as well as recognizing that one already has enough. The culmination of this gem of a book is the longish account of the author’s brother’s learning how to say “thank you” in the face of his inevitable death. Like a slow building formation, James Autry’s wisdom regarding gratitude slowly builds up into insight that repeatedly appears just when needed.
Claremont Graduate University
Jim Autry does it again. In his usual winsome and witty way, Autry reminds us that our posture toward daily life—on both good days and bad—ought to be one of gratitude. With just the right blend of humor and heart, his stories, poems, and reflections all serve to help us develop and nurture our own spirit of gratitude.
—David W. Miller,
Director, Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative
Princeton, New Jersey
Jim Autry is a very wise soul. His inspiring stories, observations and suggestions are helpful in living a life of full of gratitude. This is a very worthwhile read.
co-author of The Book of Hard Choices
and former President of Whole Foods Market
Amidst the pressures life thrusts upon us, the notion of making a choice to express—no, to live—gratitude may seem naive. But it is profound, and in beautiful story form and moving poetry we are led to see how gratitude doesn’t isolate us from the rough-and-tumble of the world, but rather actually helps us engage it more richly. Several of the chapters were so powerful that I found myself in tears, agreeing that each of us indeed has much for which to be grateful.
President, Iliff School of Theology
I experience gratitude as a deep feeling of joy and sorrow as one, of being present to the world. Jim’s book captures this experience—it is filled with moments of joy and sorrow, offering us a profound recognition of what life is. I’m so grateful for this book.
—Margaret J. Wheatley,
Author of six books including
Leadership and the New Science and
Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time