Everyone loves a good praise. Even if you self proclaim to be someone who can carry on without people's appreciation or praises... deep inside every human being loves being appreciated! I feel that human beings have been genetically wired with a lot of beautiful codes - 'Love' being the biggest and 'Appreciation' being one of the many wonderful codes inherent in our bodies. Humans are a curious lot and they love to explore things around them. They are also a creative lot and love to create some of the most awe-inspiring things. Whether you're just curious or creative, you certainly work towards things that command appreciation. Right from a small act of helping with household chores to great acts of creating space rockets, every good act deserves a good helping of appreciation.
Appreciation, like the many virtues we humans possess, is an act that needs to be learnt and honed over the lifetime. Right from your childhood you are taught to give 'Thanks' to any gift or toy you receive from others. As a kid, if you picked up even a small bit of paper to help your mom in cleaning, it is immensely appreciated. However, as you grow and learn to be on your own, you start getting diluted in the chaos of life around you. Your attention gets focussed on all that is wrong around you. You start giving attention to things that are not working out, not right, not good, not friendly, not suitable - a million 'Not (s)'! And in the process you just lose all that you should have actually been thankful for. While you could not make great friends, you had a great family to appreciate. While you did not enter a College/University you deeply desired to be in, you at least studied in some other College/University and did not waste that precious year. On a particular day, while you could not buy that car of dreams, you bought that amazing lip smacking burger you craved for when you were so very hungry! While you could not fetch yourself a holiday you wanted to go to, you spent a beautiful weekend with your wife / husband, having quiet but romantic dinners! Wasn't all this enough to appreciate your life?
I do agree that you should certainly 'dream' about that car you love and wish to buy, that long pending holiday you have been waiting for or that job you desire, but in the process do not forget that dreams are like the visual 'To-Do List' that all of us pin on our boards of life. We should dream and work towards them. But not at the cost of forgetting what we are being given right now.Its like you're being served a delicious, scrumptious dinner at a small but beautiful place filled with music, love & a serene ambience on your birthday, but all you can do is to crib about not having visited a seven star restaurant! Well, if only you could appreciate that you could make it to a seven star restaurant any day, but this moment of being with your loved one at a cozy little place is so very special.
That's not all. Its not just the entertaining moments you should appreciate. Learn to appreciate little acts of kindness from others. If they have done a small favor for you, its only out of certain amount of love and care that they had for you. Appreciate that. If your family member helped you with your household chore, be thankful and appreciate their effort. Don't make the mistake of taking their efforts for granted. Don't think that just because they are a part of your family, their efforts don't need that little smile and thanks!
Once you make the mistake of taking people's help and efforts for granted, you stop being appreciative of their care towards you. If they don't seem to get that little 'thanks' from you, they will gradually stop doing things they wish to do for you. And all this is very natural, a natural human tendency. You would have experienced it yourself.
By not appreciating people for their help/care/efforts, you only discourage them from offering any more of it. They become disinterested in doing small or big favors for you. And then begins that long lasting, confusing battle of expectations. All that's required is a small 'Thank You' or just saying 'How wonderful of you to do that!'... It is not difficult at all. Start learning the act of appreciation from today. Its never to late to exhibit the beautiful virtues you are made of. After all, you are a Human Being...show and be like one.
Appreciate life, love, care, concerns, efforts, help, favors, gestures, acts and much more. Every minute is a blessing. You are living a life, enjoying life, eating, dancing, playing music... there's no dearth of things you should appreciate and regard.
Praise and appreciate your loved one (family/friend...even a stranger) for their care that they show...Just as you praise the Lord, for He resides in You and Me!