Appreciating Others

Photo by Auntie P

Re-posted from August.  Dale Carnegie, in his book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” wrote: One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence is appreciation.

I wonder why that is?

You would think the virtue of appreciation would be tantamount in our dealings with others, as we ourselves crave it so deeply. If you believe that not to be true, let me ask you a couple questions.

When you do a kindness for someone you care for, and they don’t seem grateful; or even seem to notice or acknowledge the act, doesn’t it hurt just a little.

When you pour your heart into a message, a post, a speech, an article or share a testimony, and no one responds or acknowledge it, does it make you question yourself, and hurt as well?

Some people are great at thanking and acknowledging people, for some of us it take a conscious effort.

There is a quote that says, “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again”.

I think that is definitely food for thought.

As I have written about before, most of us go through life on autopilot not really paying attention to many of the little, but important nuances of life.

Most of us want to do a work for God. We think about feeding the hungry, and finding shelter for the homeless. People go on mission trips to build schools and clinics. Missionaries have traveled to the most remote areas of the planet to share the word of God.

Those are all noble and good things to do. Those are things God wants His people to do.   Jesus is the One who tells us to do these things.  I just wonder if because we tend to focus on some of those weightier issues, we forget about the simple things. Simple things like showing our appreciation for the small things that other do for us.

It is so easy for us to take our spouses, children and friends for granted. Because your spouse cooks dinner for you every day, to you come to expect it, and stop thanking them?

Showing appreciation toward others doesn’t cost you a cent, but it pays great dividends. When someone thanks us for doing a great job at something, or thanks us for something we do for them, doesn’t it make us feel good? When someone shows appreciation toward you, doesn’t it make you want to do or be even better?

Think about the positive impact you could have on your spouse, children, friends or even a grocery store clerk if you were to show that kind of appreciation. Saying a kind word, or acknowledging deeds can be the difference between a good and bad day for someone. A lifetime of that could be the difference between a productive spirit led life, and a life of mediocrity.

We all want to be appreciated. Maybe if we were to show more appreciation toward others, we may find ourselves more appreciated.

What do you think about that?

  • Bill (cycleguy)

    I try hard to show appreciation for and to others. I try to send notes of encouragement and thanks to people for doing something for me or for something that benefits the church. I try to send cards of encouraging words to someone who has been struggling. I also send notes to let people know they have been missed.

    • Mike

      That’s fantastic, Bill. It’s amazing how important, yet underdone those things are.

  • I think you’re one hundred percent right. It is an act of humility and grace, which should mark all of our lives who know God. I also think we all need a little reminder now and then. Just last week I forgot to thank a guy who picked up the lunch tab…

    • Mike

      We live in such a hurried world, it’s really easy to forget about appreciating others. I think it’s a matter of being vigilant about the things we should do. I wish all the fruits of the spirit came natural to me, but I have many years of old habits I’m working against. I do have fun with the note cards I wrote smile on, and taped up around my house. When people come over, it always brings a smile to their faces, and mind. By the way, I would appreciate your prayers for my son Matt. He just went through a three hour surgery for his Crohns disease today. He had part of his colon and small intestines removed and there is risk of leakage and infection. He will be in the hospital for a week and about another 6 to 8 weeks recovery at home. He is 19. Thanks.

      • I am and will be praying for Matt. Honored to do so.

        • Mike