Appreciation: developing a sense of wow!

Each day offers us numerous opportunities that deserve our appreciation, if only we look for them

Human relationships thrive on caring, sharing and mutual appreciation. We rely on our loved ones, our friends and those closest to us, for moral support and encouragement.

No one knows who wrote or said these lines originally, but all of us have read these lines and been inspired by them:

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

The popular writer Dale Carnegie calls this one of the basic requirements for happiness in life. “Cut out this quotation and put it where you will see it every morning!” he tells us.

Is it not true that all of us feel happy when we are appreciated? In this, as in other things, what we send out comes back to us. For life is like a boomerang: what we are, what we do, comes back to us. When we give our best to the world, when we send out warmth, love and appreciation—it all comes back to us.

There are very many occasions in life which call for celebration—special events like a birth or a wedding in the family, birthdays, promotions, a new home, etc. But, let us not forget that each and every day is filled with numerous things, which deserve our appreciation and gratitude. If only we would pause, reflect and consider life’s countless blessings, we would realise how much there is to be appreciated in life!

Appreciate nature! The blue sky above you, the green grass at your feet, the magnificent hills, the vast seas, life-giving, life-generating rivers and the beauty and grandeur of gardens and woods.

Appreciate each day that comes to you out of the spotless hands of God. Think of all that you take for granted—your life that is a great gift, your good health, which is a blessing, your family which is precious, and the joy and love that come to you from all around. Learn to appreciate all the beauty and warmth which we so often ignore!

Each and every day is filled with numerous things which deserve our appreciation and gratitude. If only we would pause, reflect and consider life’s countless blessings, we would realise how much there is to be appreciated in life!

Above all, appreciate people! Human relationships need to be nurtured. We often think of our friends, spouses and parents as ‘pillars of strength’ which are always there for our solid support. I urge you, occasionally think of them as precious plants that need constant tending!

When tensions are rising and troubles are mounting, it is people who are close to us that bear the brunt of our stress. We are often courteous, polite and kind to perfect strangers, but rude and brusque to our own spouses and parents.

Many relationships suffer from sheer neglect and indifference. It was a wise man—perhaps, it was a wise woman—who said, “Even love has a shelf life.”

A rabbi was offering special counselling sessions to his congregation on nurturing marital relationships. An old man went up to the rabbi and offered his help. “I know the secret of marital bliss,” he asserted vigorously. “It’s very simple.”

“I’m the expert on the subject,” the old man said, gleefully. “I ought to know, because I’ve been married four times.”

The rabbi was taken aback, and his shock must have shown on his face. The old man laughed at the expression on his face and added, “To the same woman”

He proceeded to explain that he and his wife had been married for 45 years. The first marriage was when he and his wife had been young and carefree. The second was when they had been rearing their three children. The third was when the children grew up and left home. The fourth was when they both retired.

“Each of these marriages called for different ground rules,” the old man said. “We gave each other the love and appreciation and support we needed as the situation and circumstances of our life changed. We married each other—over and over again!”

There is nothing like warmth, love and appreciation to revitalise relationships!

If only we look around us, if only we see and listen with care, we will never complain that life is boring and dull! When you learn to appreciate the world and its people you will find the grass greener; you will see that the moon shines brighter; and the dreariness of life will disappear, leaving fresh colours and fragrances behind!

John Ruskin, the distinguished Victorian writer remarked, “I am not surprised at what men suffer from, but I am surprised at what men miss out on!”

“Take time to live—because the world has so much to give!” proclaimed the caption of a beautiful picture which I saw in a friend’s house. All of us need to take time to live—to appreciate all the good things and wonderful people around us. This is sure to bring us, and them, a great deal of happiness.

There is a world of beauty and charm lying out there for us—and, we are blind to it. We lack the quality of appreciation. Therefore, let us take the lead in appreciation.

This was first published in the March 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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