Grateful: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks
If gratitude is so good for us, why is it so hard? Grateful looks at a familiar spiritual practice in unexpected and provocative ways, including how gratitude is communal – and how it can contribute to healing our divides.
Just as she did in her award-winning book Grounded, Diana Butler Bass invites readers to understand new dimensions of American spirituality in Grateful.
Although most of us know that gratitude is good — and good for us — there is a gap between our desire to be grateful and our ability to behave gratefully. The implications of the gap are bigger than we realize, affecting both our personal and public lives. In Grateful, Bass weaves together social science research, spiritual wisdom, and contemporary issues as she calls for a richer understanding and practice of gratitude. What emerges are surprising insights about the power of thankful living to change how we treat one another, and how we might transform our world.
Praise for Grateful
“What we have… [is a] utopian book [that] advocates a corrective vision of American society that is desperately needed. It is not impossible to imagine a society based on gratitude. It merely takes courage, creativity, and trust.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“Bestselling author and scholar Bass takes two seemingly contradictory recent surveys of the mood of Americans as the jumping off point for her excellent call for a more conscientious practice of gratitude…. Will please longtime fans as well as readers interested in living a more productively thankful life.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“There is no better response to this historical moment than cultivating gratitude. This book will show both why and how to do it, and in the process you will get the extraordinary pleasure of Diana’s company, as she rediscovers the gifts that gratitude brings.” —Ana Marie Cox, political commentator, host of With Friends Like These podcast
“Gratitude is the undeniable beginning of the spiritual life. Diana Butler Bass offers us a superb overview of this virtue in our individual and communal lives. As she unpacked the various graces and challenges associated with expressing thanks, I found myself grateful to her for this deeply spiritual book.” —James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything
“Diana Butler Bass is one of the most thoughtful, insightful voices to emerge among us. Her words are a gentle but fierce reminder that on some eternal level, all is well.” —Marianne Williamson, New York Times bestselling author of Tears to Triumph
“Grateful is a timely and beautifully-written book. The practice of gratitude has been a lifeline for me in a challenging season, and this wise book articulates both a helpful challenge and a soul-shaping framework.” —Shauna Niequist, New York Times bestselling author of Present Over Perfect
“An insightful, illuminating, and thought-provoking book on the subject, one that is simultaneously a meditation and celebration.” —Booklist
“Provides a series of ethical actions to bring gratitude truly alive in our everyday lives, making it both a personal and a public practice.” (Spirituality & Practice) Bass writes about things that matter, and she does so with graceful, accessible intelligence. In Grateful, she guides us to discover how we can grow in gratitude as individuals and as communities. If you let this book into your mind, it will find its way to your deepest heart. —Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration
“In Grateful, Diana Butler Bass is a calming voice in raging cultural seas. She accomplishes this feat by flipping individualism on its head using a surprising lever: gratitude. Grateful is challenging and refreshing, and speaks to the core of so much modern misery.” —“Science Mike” McHargue, author of Finding God in the Waves and co-host of The Liturgists Podcast