By: Ginny Sassaman
Publisher: Rootstock Publishing
Publication Date: May 2020
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: June 6, 2021
Debut author and lay preacher Ginny Sassaman writes Preaching Happiness: Creating a Just and Joyful World, a practical and uplifting self-help book relating to achieving and maintaining happiness and well-being based upon the author’s sixteen previously written sermons collected between the years 2017 to 2019.
Sassaman, who is the creator of the Happiness Paradigm, and the co-founder of the USA chapter of Gross National Happiness, strongly believes that everyone has the right to happiness. However, in order for everyone to benefit from sustained happiness, our world needs to get off the well-beaten path of measuring success by profits based upon money, and instead focus on the overall well-being of the individual and society as a whole. But how can our world (especially the United States) change our mindset so drastically? As the author says we must change “...ourselves to better transform the world.”
Each of the sermons are a well-thought-out blend of expertly researched information (which may at times bog down the overall flow, and be a bit overwhelming for some readers), and the author’s personal stories and experiences throughout her journey into becoming a happiness preacher. They cover a wide variety of subjects such as empathy, forgiveness being wonderful, creativity, the interconnectedness of happiness in humans and animals and appreciating everyday beauty, to name a few. The author also speaks candidly about conflict as a normal necessity in the pursuit of happiness, and fully admits that even though she is an expert in this field, she too is human and sometimes finds herself in not-so-perfect situations that she must work through towards becoming a more positive, happy person.
Although Preaching Happiness is technically a collection of sermons that were presented to people attending the First Universalist Church and Society, the author did not write solely for religious individuals. Anyone, regardless of whether they are religious, spiritual but not religious, secular or otherwise, can pick up this book and feel safe and won’t be “beaten over the head” with preachy lectures on overly complicated ideas on how to become a good person. Instead they will be presented with an abundance of real-life and thought-provoking information that will not only make practical sense, but most importantly motivate them to take the necessary steps presented to improve their overall happiness.
Quill says: Happiness! We all have a deep desire to have happiness in our lives and in our world, but we often seem stuck in the same negative rut. So read the sensible wisdom of Ginny Sassaman's Preaching Happiness, and get started on your own happiness adventure.
For more information on Preaching Happiness: Creating a Just and Joyful World, please visit the website: happinessparadigm.com