BOOKLOOK

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Deb­bie Bal­zotti

Re­view of “Make Ev­ery Day Mean­ing­ful” Re­al­ize, Record, and Re­mem­ber Life’s Grand Lessons By Ran­dal A. Wright “God gave us mem­ory so that we might have roses in De­cem­ber.” James M. Bar­rie (au­thor of Peter Pan)

Ifound it. A book that mo­ti­vates me to im­prove my jour­nal writ­ing so I can have roses in De­cem­ber. Writ­ers are of­ten too busy writ­ing for dead­lines to write their own story. We have per­fected pro­cras­ti­na­tion, harsh self-crit­i­cism, and we get writer’s block. Sound fa­mil­iar? “I can’t write my per­sonal his­tory be­cause I am too busy, I’m a ter­ri­ble writer and I don’t know what to write.”

Make Ev­ery Day Mean­ing­ful is the book I found while search­ing for a book about grat­i­tude to re­view for Novem­ber. Some­times a book chooses you.

The grat­i­tude chap­ter ti­tled, “Learn to Be Grate­ful Ev­ery Day” in­cludes in­spi­ra­tional quotes, per­sonal sto­ries and en­cour­ag­ing words. Wright ob­serves that less than ten per­cent of at­ten­dees ex­press grat­i­tude to speak­ers, teach­ers and mu­si­cians who serve them in Sun­day church meet­ings.

In his trav­els as a speaker and au­thor, he rarely sees those who have spent many hours in prepa­ra­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion thanked by those they serve. A Sun­day School teacher told him that only a hand­ful of peo­ple thanked her dur­ing her almost five years of teach­ing.

“Over the years, I’ve had the re­spon­si­bil­ity of ask­ing hun­dreds of peo­ple to speak at fo­rums held for LDS col­lege stu­dents. Dur­ing that time, I have watched on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions as not one per­son ap­proached the speaker af­ter­wards,” wrote Wright.

I re­cently re­ceived a let­ter from Springville Mayor Wil­ford W. Clyde thank­ing for the many years I have writ­ten news sto­ries about the city. This brief ex­pres­sion of grat­i­tude from a very busy man prompted me to send a note to some­one I no­ticed qui­etly serv­ing. Grat­i­tude is con­ta­gious – it’s spread by mouth and hand to hand.

Each chap­ter in Ran­dal Wright’s book en­cour­ages the reader to “re­al­ize, record and re­mem­ber life’s grand lessons”. Many peo­ple do this with a grat­i­tude jour­nal or other small note­book they carry with them. Some spend a few min­utes at the end of the day to record those ob­ser­va­tions and lessons.

“Jour­nals are a way of count­ing our bless­ings and of leav­ing an inventory of th­ese bless­ings for our pos­ter­ity.” Spencer W. Kim­ball promised.

Many times I have wished my grand­moth­ers had writ­ten their ex­pe­ri­ences and thoughts for me to read and share with my chil­dren. Th­ese fas­tid­i­ous lit­tle house­keep­ers even threw away pre­cious let­ters from other fam­ily mem­bers and fam­ily pho­tos! I have their jew­elry and dishes but I don’t have their mem­o­ries.

I ap­pre­ci­ated the en­cour­age­ment to write my au­to­bi­og­ra­phy - a work in progress, and keep a bet­ter jour­nal, but what this book re­ally gave me were some prac­ti­cal tools and sug­ges­tions. The list of 600 mem­ory cues, and three word-word sum­mary sug­ges­tions are more help­ful to some­one like me than quotes I’ve man­aged to ig­nore for decades.

It’s not too late to start or start again. Your jour­nal and your life story may not seem like a bou­quet of roses but your mem­o­ries and life lessons are price­less gifts to your­self and your fam­ily.

Make Ev­ery Day Mean­ing­ful by Ran­dal A. Wright is avail­able from lo­cal pub­lisher Cedar Fort at www.cedar­fort. com or at their ware­house 2373 W 700 S, Springville. It is also sold at www.ama­zon.com.

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