Imagine a world where Acknowledgment and Appreciation were practiced generously…where they were automatic in our relationships!!! Imagine how each day would go so differently, how the news would be joyous, how politics and business would be transacted with integrity and respect. We would experience a seismic shift in the way we live our realities.
Perhaps you’re thinking “Not possible?” Your cynicism would be natural. However, I believe it IS possible. What’s required is an understanding of what Acknowledgment and Appreciation is (are?), the knowledge of how, where, why, and when to implement it (them?), and then to practice doing it.
Let’s start with the definitions:
Acknowledgment is: “to see someone authentically as who they are, a human worthy of respect and having a valid point of view.”
Appreciation is:” sensing a person’s intrinsic value and having gratitude for the beauty that surrounds you and that is in every person.”
Now that we understand Acknowledgment and Appreciation, you may be better aware of how much you already know and practice them in your life…or not. For instance, most of know in our heads that we appreciate our Moms and Dads or our friends or spouses or our animals. And mostly we know this in our heads and hearts. But how often do we say to the people in our lives how much we appreciate them and what we acknowledge them for?
What stops us? I believe time, what we are taught, and lack of practice. (I think we need a paragraph that addresses or speaks to how we don’t take the time b/c we make everything else more important given that we’ve been taught not to practice this anyway!)
Most have us have been taught that we should be modest and not boast, which often stops us from acknowledging and appreciating people in our lives. We are taught by well meaning parents and many teachers to “be humble” and avoid bringing ostentatious attention to ourselves and others. This practice stops us from truly understanding and recognizing ourselves and others, what we value, and what our personal gifts are for ourselves and the world.
Going a little further, how do our background, upbringing, and education stop us from really hearing appreciation and acknowledgment when it is given to us? Most of us do not know how to receive compliments and we often brush them off by saying ‘oh no not me’ or ‘thanks but I am not really that’ or ‘I just don’t deserve those kind words’.
It’s really easy to see why most of us are not good at what I will call the game of Appreciation and Acknowledgment.
In a future article, we will explore further the nature of Appreciation and Acknowledgment and begin to look at the “how, where, when and why” of using Appreciation and Acknowledgment. Until then…