What if you were able to tell people that you live in the most grateful city in America?
As World Gratitude Day came to a close on Sept. 21st, Burbank’s was just beginning. The Buena Vista Library welcomed On Gratitude author, Todd Aaron Jensen¸ at 7PM on Wednesday night for an inspirational talk and book signing. Jensen’s book was chosen as the Burbank READS 5th annual “One Book, One City” campaign, in honor of the 2011 centennial year, and which has launched an aspiring endeavor to create the largest gratitude list ever made.
Jensen’s book, On Gratitude, contains 50 celebrity interviews ranging from actors, musicians, authors, cartoonists and athletes, on their most thankful things. Ricky Gervais says it’s his pajamas while Dolly Parton is grateful for tumble roots. Each gratitude list gives a heartfelt and truthful account of personal feelings and celebrations in an awe-inspiring compilation put together by Jensen’s journalistic talents. On Gratitude author, Todd Jensen is not just any award-winning journalist with featured bylines in over 100 publications, he is a journalist who was raised in Burbank, who graduated from Burroughs High, and who says “I heart Burbank.”
Jensen’s talk was motivational and eye-opening as he spoke of interviewing Ron Howard after the launch of Splash at the age of 13, and how he got a call from Alicia Keys the day the book was due to the publisher and he was coaching his son’s game at the top of the 5th inning. “Many people have been very, very generous with me in this lifetime,” Jensen adds humbly.
“Bad things will happen, this I promise you,” said Jensen as he began to discuss his book. “Sickness will happen, jobs will come and go, you will be exposed to another Jean Claude Van Dam movie, relationships will end, technology will fail, and lives will be lost.” Instead of looking at what was being taken away, Todd Jensen started counting what he had. He explained that people who write down 3-5 things they are grateful for on a weekly basis, they will be measurably happier and healthier in mind, body and spirit. “There are days when making a list feels foolish,” Jensen reveals. “Keep up and you will be kept up.”
Books at the event went for $12 or two for $20, and Jensen personally signed each copy sold. As a souvenir for himself, Todd asked that guests sign a copy of his poster for him to take home. Visitors also wrote their own gratitude lists and turned them into the library while other recited their list on video. Over 400 lists were turned in from Jordon Middle School, and Burbank will be collecting them at the library or online at www.thegratitudelist.org/gratitude-lists/submit-your-list until October 29th.
To support the cause and make Burbank America’s most grateful city, read On Gratitude, turn in a gratitude list, and send a postcard to someone you are grateful for. Burbank’s Buena Vista library will be putting events on throughout the month of October in honor of gaining the largest gratitude list.
- Sept. 26th @ 7PM: Operation Gratitude: Assemble and ship care packages to US service members deployed overseas.
- Oct. 3rd @ 6PM: Come in your pajamas and watch The Blind Side, an inspiring tale of love and courage.
- Oct. 10th @ 7PM: Join psychologist Dr. Robert A. Emmons for an extensive view of the science of gratitude.
- Oct. 13th @ 7PM: Enjoy a family night with True Thomas and the Tales of Gratitude.
- Oct. 17th @ 7PM: Todd Aaron Jensen combines gratitude with yoga fit for the whole family.
- Oct. 20th @ 7PM: Come use your imagination and create your very own postcards and stationary to send to friends and family you are thankful for.
- Oct. 22nd @ 2PM: An Afternoon of Gratitude with James Morrison and Friends, including tunes from his debut album.
- Oct. 29th @ 2PM: The Party of 100 Thanks. The celebration will feature special guests, live performances, and giveaways.