FROM THE FOREWORD BY GORDON LIVINGSTON, MD
“Wisdom is a hard-won virtue. What we make of the adversities with which life inevitably confronts us determines whether we have anything useful to say to those who follow us. Andrew Bienkowski passes the test with this extraordinary story of his childhood exile to Siberia and the lessons he learned there about loyalty, perseverance, gratitude, and love. That he was later able to convey these insights to others in a long career as a psychotherapist is a natural outcome of his conclusion that our obligation in life is to take what we have learned and ‘pay it forward.’ This book reflects his determination to give permanent form to truths about living that come only with experience and reflection....”
FROM THE FIRST CHAPTER
“Actively cultivating gratefulness is not something most of us spend much time on. We are more prone to focus on our wants than our haves. But this is not the only way to approach our world. We could easily wake up every morning thinking, ‘I have breath! I have life! I have shelter! I am here!’ These are grand things to celebrate and should not be taken for granted.
And yet we do.
The alarm sounds and we roll over and climb out of bed and begin to trudge through another day. But think, for a moment, about a day in which we wake and remember what we already have, the blessings that we have already been given, the things that we have already earned, the love that we have already found. Imagine a morning when we wake up and celebrate now.
Remember this: If you are in a position to take things for granted, you are already blessed beyond your needs.”