Where Honesty Never Ends.
Genre: A Daily Reflection
Greetings everyone! The Review Board is here to share its thoughts on the daily THANKS by Zen Thai. First we have Harmony Kent!
This is a short (46 PDF pages) book of daily reflections. The idea is to find something to be grateful for, every day, instead of complaining about this, that and the other. Each daily reflection is accompanied with a photograph, and the whole thing is very nicely put together. There are 365 ‘daily thanks’, and the suggestion is to read one per day.
The proofreading is done to a high standard, and it is obvious that care and attention has been given to the presentation and formatting. Some of the reflections are very specific, whilst others are broader and more universal.
When reading some of these snippets I felt that an American living in a big city would be a more relevant audience than I. Living in rural England, many of these are things I already do without. Some of them, things I wouldn’t want in my life. Also, some of them struck me as quite shallow. Like being thankful for having all my limbs. Well, first of all, I don’t have all my limbs. Is this a reason to not be thankful? I think not. I actually feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity this whole experience has given me. The writer did redeem himself somewhat, when he stated that even those in a wheelchair can be thankful for having the wheelchair. I could take this deeper still: just be thankful. Even if we are unfortunate enough to be disabled with no access to mobility aids we can still find plenty to be thankful for.
I highly commend the idea behind the book: to be thankful. However, the examples given tend to the shallower interpretation of this sentiment. Even those of us on the planet without, can find plenty to be thankful for. Even those of us dying can find something to be thankful for. Even those of us suffering from oppression can be thankful. Everything is an opportunity, and it is what we do with it that matters. We create our own suffering by how we respond. Or not. Even our suffering can teach us, so yes: we can be thankful for even that.
I wholeheartedly applaud the message: be thankful. However, it goes much deeper than this book. I suppose that here is the time where I ought to confess that I spent 13 years living a Buddhist monastic life in a Buddhist temple! So, I would naturally be inclined to look at this from quite a spiritual perspective.
The Daily Thanks is a great place to start from, and could make a useful springboard into deeper thought, if the reader were so inclined. This is a well-presented book with a valuable message: Stop Complaining! Great for a gentle daily reminder in a busy and modern world. I offer 8 out of 10 stars for this little gem.
Now let’s get the Truth: Mini Truth, that is!
When reading a book of this kind (daily devotions), it’s hard to find the right words to say in regards to giving an informal review.
I will do my best.
I cannot say that I totally loved this book, neither can I say that I absolutely love it–I’m somewhere in the middle. This book has its good aspects as well as its not so good ones; I certainly found nothing blatantly bad about it. I’d surmise that with a daily devotion book, such as this, it’s all a matter of perspective and preference. That being said, I will give mine.
Let me start with the premise:
This is a daily dose of food for thought and thanksgiving, if you will. The author has attempted to weave together a small thought for each day of things that one should be thankful for. At times there are really miniscule things that one doesn’t really think about. Then there. Then there are more important things that we think about every day. By the time I finished the book, I realized that the common thread was that one should be grateful for life–period.
That, I believe, in and of itself is an admirable subject matter, as we take life for granted far too much. It seems that what the author was trying to portray somehow is that we should be happy with both the little things as well as the more major things.
It’s also a way for a person that is down in the dumps, to find something to be happy about in little spurts each day. That, once again, is a pleasing goal.
My thoughts in the form of Pros and Cons are to follow.
(Far fetched thoughts)
I guess that this book could be helpful, but at the same time, I feel as though some of the thoughts were a little unrealistic.
Truthful Verdict: This book is a 6 Stars on the TRB scale for me.
Last but not least, the Unleashed one:
Kudos to the premise behind this work as well as the colorful illustrations next to each devotional. Yet there were certain things that prevented me for giving this advocacy of thankfulness a full ten star rating.
1. Not fully culture inclusive
Although I could relate and identify with a lot of the author’s viewpoints, I had to also think in terms of other people and their cultures and locations. There could be some lines of thanks which they may not be able to understand because they are not from America. A work of thanks should strive to include everyone: no matter what his or her location may be.
2. Some that may be “thanks” to some may be “no thanks” to others.
Here are a few examples that stood out, and I may make reference to myself when making these points:
(a) In reference to family (“mother”, “father”, “sister” and “brother”): In my situation, I didn’t know my mother or my father. I was raised by my grandparents instead. Since I was the oldest in the family, I did not get the opportunity to know my other siblings since the majority of them lived with my mom. Should I be less thankful because my family structure was different?
In addition, what if there was incest in the family? Should one still be thankful for that particular family member who did it?
(b) Having all of one’s limbs: There are people I know who were born without limbs or lost a limb during service in the military. Should they be less thankful although all limbs aren’t accounted for?
(c) Similar to what Mini Truth stated before in regards to “sugar”: Sugar is bad news for one who is diabetic.
(d) Co-sign on Truth’s views on “penicillin”: If one is allergic to penicillin, then being thankful is the last thing on a person’s mind.
(e) Bras: Don’t get me wrong! These titans need all the lift, separation and support they can get. But there are women out there who don’t believe in wearing bras or find bras to be uncomfortable. Despite their preferences, I don’t think they should be any less thankful because of that.
I know the author meant to provide an overall good feeling but some of the things inserted made me chuckle, like “Why is this in here?” or “Was the author running out of ideas since coming up with 365 of them could be challenging?”.
Overall Verdict: 7 out of 10 TRB Stars.
I applaud the overall message: to be thankful. Yet I believe the author went a bit too superficial and tangible with a few of the items to be thankful for. This work would have been more effective if detail and emphasis was given to the intangible. For being thankful is universal and meant to be felt by everyone.
Let’s take all the numbers and divide by 3:
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