Last week, I read a beautiful AP article on the writer’s appreciation for Bill Russell. As a European, I had never heard of the late Bill Russell (1934-2022), an American basketball player and coach. The word appreciation triggered my curiosity though, and my subsequent interest in this word.
Appreciation and gratitude are related but not the same. In my view, their connection is as follows: you can appreciate a beautiful new day and then be grateful (eg, to Allah, God, Yahweh). Appreciation is like sensory input and gratitude is output (eg, a thank you prayer).
The quotes below give some further context and insight. A famous Dutch equivalent is this one: “Wie het kleine niet eert, is het grote niet weerd.”
“We often fail to appreciate the full value of our health, of the people we love, of our peace, freedom and prosperity, and the very fact that we are alive at all. We usually do learn the value of these things when they’re taken away from us–for example, when we become seriously ill, when our partners leave us (perhaps because we were taking them for granted), or if we experience poverty or imprisonment.”A quote from a 2014 Psychology Today article: The Power of Appreciation
Although it’s hard to remember, I think I (fully) appreciated life as a child. Later other things became (more) important: school, work, children. My 2013 burnout and subsequent depression made me reprioritize my life. Today, appreciation is on top of my list again. Without appreciation, (my) life seems pointless.
There are some other analogies to come to my mind:
Recently, I noticed a saying in a WA status update that may (not) help you in feeling (un)appreciated.
“Learn to be ok with not being invited, included or considered.” UnknownVarious sources, Facebook, Quora, YouTube
I’ve been struggling with that saying as it seems both true and false. People are social creatures; even the alleged lone wolfs. Abraham Maslow‘s 1943 paper on the hierarchy of needs is clear about this. Hence, this saying can only help you up to a point. Beyond that, it’s reasoning seems flawed.
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.