Book Club Meeting Synopsis

The AVACA Book Club launched on Wednesday, December 7th at Hob Nobs in Phoenix.  In attendance was Sharon Kinsella, Arizona Humane Society; Tasia Grzecka, Child Crisis AZ; Amy Davieau, Consultant; Linda Ponter, Phoenix Children’s Shelter, and Linda Llewellyn, Celebrate Volunteers. Hob Nobs is a cozy coffee shop perfect for an informal gathering and discussion.  The book chosen by AVACA members is Born to Be Good by Dacher Keltner.  The first reading endeavor was to read the Preface and Chapter One.  An engaging discussion was had.  Here are some of the highlights in case you missed it or were wondering what it would be like.

“I had an amazing time at our first book club session.  Great company and great discussion!   We talked about how Dacher Keltner has really framed altruism in a new light for us, and we pondered the effect of this on our work and home lives.  I’m thinking that Born to be Good just may be one of those life-changing books, and I look forward to reading (and discussing) the rest!”  Sharon Kinsella

"The science of Jen was very interesting. Looking at a situation and putting your positive experiences over your negative ones to get your 'jen ratio.'  It gave me new perspective through which to view both my immediate surroundings and society. After the first chapter I am also interested​ to learn now that we understand the science of jen how do we apply it? It left me eager to understand where we go from here"  Amy Davieua

“This quote stood out to me,”  “This narrow concentration on ‘happiness’ has stunted our scientific understanding of the emotions that move people toward higher jen ratios. By solely asking ‘Am I happy?’ we miss out on the many nuances of the meaningful life.” (page 15)  “It forced me to ask myself how much I measure moments in my life by whether I am happy. If I’m happy it’s good. If I’m not happy it’s bad. There’s so much more to a fulfilling life than happiness. Keltner lists gratitude, contentment, pride, love, compassion and desire as some of the emotions that are overlooked when we just focus on happiness. It’s interesting to think about how this concept applies to the non-profit world. Happiness is not the emotional response I receive when I tell people where I work, yet I would still consider this a fulfilling place to work. I think it’s because, without realizing it, I focus on other emotions when I’m here, like love, compassion, gratefulness, and pride. In this line of work, we can’t overlook the ‘millisecond manifestations of human goodness’ that surround us daily. At least that’s how I’ve learned to cope as a social worker.”  Tasia Grzecka

“I had a wonderful time at our first session. Although we’d hardy made a dent in the book yet, we found lots of points to speculate about! The discussion was lively and engaging. It was a great way to end the workday in a positive Jen RatioJ”  Linda Ponter

“As one who had not yet read the reading assignment, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have anything to contribute.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was easy and natural to contribute to the discussion. While the book is not about volunteer management, it provides an interesting framework for which to look at our profession.  Keltner presents an interest perspective which has me looking forward to the next reading endeavor and meeting.”  Linda Llewellyn

AVACA members received the book at the last AVACA Networking meeting and through the mail for those not in attendance.  If you are a paid member and did not receive your book, please let me know.

Everyone is welcome at the next Book Club meeting, Wednesday, February 22nd at 4pm at Hob Nobs in Phoenix.  Please plan on joining us for an interesting discussion with personal and professional benefits.  Hob Nobs has great appetizers too!  Our next reading endeavor is Chapters Two through Seven.  Please join us for thought provoking ideas, laughter and comradery.

Until then, I look forward to seeing each of you at the Winter Membership meeting on January 10th at 8:30 am at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix.

Happy Holidays and All the best,

Linda Llewellyn

AVACA Public Relations Chair



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