Ginny Sassaman knows happiness! As a co-founder of Gross National Happiness USA and a participant in the national Happiness Walk, she’s been studying the subject for many years.
Her approach in these marvelous sermons is both personal and social—she knows we need to change both our behaviors and some of the policies that wreak havoc on our planet, which is actually making us less happy. She doesn’t shy away from the tougher questions. I especially like her sermon on beauty, an issue of quality of life that has been too often ignored in happiness research, surveys, and action.
In chapter fourteen, “The Extraordinary Value of Everyday Beauty,” Sassaman writes about a friend who took her own life; how that friend had collected objects of beauty as a way of mitigating her pain:
“Mandy may have carried more pain than most, but, just as all flowers need the sun, all humans need beauty. Piero Ferrucci, whose book on kindness is like a happiness bible for me, has written another invaluable text: Beauty and the Soul: The Extraordinary Power of Everyday Beauty to Heal Your Life. Ferrucci insists that beauty, far from being frivolous, is a primal need. ‘Beauty,’ he writes, ‘is not like a distant satellite, but like a sun that gives life and light to all areas of our life.’”
This is just one example of how Sassaman combines thoughtful stories and research in her sermons. I found great value in all of them and I think you, dear reader, will too. Don’t miss this book!
Preaching Happiness: Creating a Just and Joyful World by Ginny Sassaman. Rootstock Publishing, May 2020.
Reviewer Bio: John de Graaf is an author, filmmaker, speaker and activist. He is a co-founder of The Happiness Alliance and co-author of the bestselling book, Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic.