The Magic of Appreciation

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 27-06-2011

“Appreciation can make a day, even
change a life.

Your willingness to put it into
words is all that is necessary.”

– Margaret Cousins

Appreciation is a human need. Even animals show
appreciation within and among their kind and respond to appreciation positively
when shown. When we do something well, we consciously or unconsciously long for
some form of appreciation, especially from those who matter most to us. It
brightens our lives and motivates us to do more and better. It is the best
reward we can receive for our efforts, as it is more precious than money and
other awards.

Appreciation adds joy and spice to family life.
Appreciation is a genuine and spontaneous expression of love and joy at the
others' efforts and or achievements.  It
works as an incentive to a child to take the next step as it begins to walk; to
a young student to study hard and produce better results; to a weak person to
struggle against disadvantages and move on in life;  to an entrepreneur to achieve greater productivity;
to a sports person to improve her/his performance. In short, appreciation is a
necessary part of every sphere of life.

In as much as we long for appreciation, it is important
that we are generous in our appreciation of others. Only a person with a
generous and loving heart can appreciate another's efforts and
achievements.  Appreciation is different
from gratitude. The latter is given for a favour received, but the former is
freely given because the person deserves to be appreciated. It is also not to
be confused with flattery.  While flattery
is fake and false, appreciation is genuine and true. Flattery, based on
falsehood as it is, destroys the person eventually while appreciation helps one
to grow and become better.

One of the motivating instances of appreciation in the
Bible New Testament is when Mary visits Elizabeth. Elizabeth's words of
appreciation of Mary's new status come straight and spontaneously from her
heart: “Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit
of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the
mother of my Lord?”
(Lk 1:42-43).

Another equally inspiring instance of generous
admiration and appreciation found in the Bible comes from the mouth of Jesus
about John the Baptist: “I tell you, of all the children born to women,
there is no one greater than John” (Lk 7:28). 

About The Author

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP is a Catholic priest of the Society of St Paul. He has been engaged in media activities for several years as General Editor of ST PAULS Mumbai. He believes in God's gift of beauty and goodness in every human being, in nature and in every religious tradition, and shares his views and opinions with others.