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When Mick Jagger sang the Rolling Stones' hit song Satisfaction, he voiced the feelings of many of my generation who found they could not get satisfaction in their lives despite the plethora of "things" available that were supposed to allow us to reach that state. In Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough editor Carol Holst has compiled a small book of essays written by, as you can guess from the subtitle, twenty individuals giving their firsthand accounts of how they found satisfaction.
The book is not just about getting satisfaction, but finding the satisfaction in "Enough" the realization that chasing the consumer dream is futile and not as satisfying as the ads want us to believe. The book asks, then answers the question: "What do Americans need that most eludes them?" When Simple Living America, the first national, non-profit membership organization for the general public centered on simplicity, asked for submissions from those who had found satisfaction in "Enough," the response produced an outpouring of personal stories that the editorial committee distilled down to twenty. The final mix of stories was intended to represent the broadest possible spectrum of Americans who have sought and found a simpler, more satisfying life.
I find whenever I read a book like this which collects stories of the experiences of a sizable group, some stories hit close to my experience and others don't seem personally relevant. Such is the case with Get Satisfied. Indeed, in several cases, I wondered about the level of commitment on the writer's part to a lifetime of following their path to satisfaction. Too, I often felt the line defining "Enough" was much higher on the scale than the one I would, and have, drawn. Such stories remind me of the commitment to fossil-fuel reduction by the person whose action is to get rid of the second gas guzzler but not the first.
In any case, if you need the support of stories of successes in finding a level of "Enough" and that, yes, it is possible to find satisfaction without a home filled with stuff, then a read of Get Satisfied will assure you it can be done. For me, it was just good to know that the book represents a small sample of the number of Americans who have found the light and are basking in the glow of satisfaction....Hey, Mick, I found mine!
Reviewed by Keith C. Heidorn, PhD
Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough edited by Carol Holst, Easton Studio Press, 2007, ISBN: 0974380687, Paperback: 177 pages
Book Review: Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough ©2007, Keith C. Heidorn, PhD . All Rights Reserved.
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