How often do you take things for granted or fail to appreciate the significance of certain moments? Defined as a “recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something”, it is important to voice our appreciation when we feel it.
Similarly, we often fail to appreciate our physical state when we are fully fit and functional. It is only in moments of injury and ill health that we wish for our healthy bodies again. We tend to dramatise the situation and may even recall how much we took X & Y for granted before, or perhaps that is only me. A popular method for increasing our appreciation of the wonders that surround us involves listing three things for which we are grateful. This can be done upon waking, when waiting in a queue or even when brushing our teeth. After the initial obvious items we appreciate are checked off, we naturally identify smaller items and events for which we are grateful. As such it is possible to develop a broader spectrum of objects, surroundings and people that make us smile!
From a philosophical perspective, as objects such as wine and art can improve over time, how can we appreciate over time? Firstly, we can gain new skills and knowledge through education and training to stimulate our intellectual capacities. Secondly, spending time with family, friends and significant others helps develop our emotional intelligence. Finally, time and life experience will inevitably shape our ‘appreciation total’ as we learn from past adventures.
Also, showing appreciation for someone when they do something wonderful for us is easy and fairly instinctive. However, taking a moment to inform someone of how much they mean to you is perhaps something we do less frequently. Some may do so verbally, some with a card or email, and others perhaps with a hug. Whichever way we choose, even the smallest gestures can often make a big impression, often when they are least expected.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” Maya Angelou