Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Tao of Love and Appreciation

If there is one thing that all human beings have in common, that is the overwhelming desire to feel loved and appreciated. But how many of us do? How many of us go through life looking for someone to really love them and appreciate them as they are. How many of us go through life wanting our very existence acknowledged in some way or some form? I believe this is engrained in each and every one of us from before birth.

Before we came to this earthly existence, we knew what it was like to feel loved and appreciated. Unconditionally. A love and appreciation so pure and magnificent that we spend the rest of our lives on earth searching for that very feeling of love and appreciation. The problem is, as human beings, we always somehow fall short. We have a faint remembrance of that feeling, and we search for it in our earthly embodiments, but it seems like it’s always like the brass ring. No matter how close we get to reaching out and grabbing it, we always miss it. In fact, that’s exactly what we do. We miss it. We miss that feeling. Therefore, we are always in search to have that feeling once again.

So, how can we come close in having those glorious and wonderful feelings of love and appreciation again? I believe that it is by making others feel loved and appreciated. For it is when we do this for others, then we ourselves will come close to having that brass ring once more.

There really is an art to love and appreciation, and it’s actually quite simple. Tell people you love them. Tell people you appreciate them. Tell them that because they are in your life, your life is so much better, that they bless you for just being here. When was the last time you had anyone tell you such wonderful words of bliss? When was the last time you told anyone these words of poetry that makes the heart sing?

Why is it that three of the shortest words in the English language are also three of the most difficult for human beings to utter? “I love you.” How often do you tell your spouse, your mate, your children, your parents, your friends? You may think that they know that you love them, so you don’t have to say it. But they need to hear it. Just knowing isn’t enough.

How often do we as children go through our whole lives waiting for our parents to tell us they love us and that they are proud of us? Some people go through their whole lives waiting to hear these words, even after the death of that very parent.

When we speak to others, do we speak to build them up or tear them down? Do we speak words of love and kindness, or do we cut down with words of anger, hate, and just plain old meanness? I know people who are known to treat people like dirt, and they’ve treated me the same. Know this…. When you are unkind to people with your words, it is not a reflection on the person who is being spoken to, but it reflects on the person speaking the words. I don’t know about you, but I literally avoid these people.

Another way to make people feel appreciated is to say the words “please” and “thank you.” Don’t tell, ask. Say please. And when someone does something, say “thank you.” You’d be surprised how far just saying these two words can take you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, child, relative, boss, or friend. Common courtesy goes a long way. I remember when I was doing the hiring at one of the companies I worked for, I don’t know how many times someone we were interviewing would say that they would take a “thank you” or “job well done” over a raise! Bosses, if you want good employees, make sure they know you appreciate them. Parents, you want kids to appreciate you? Appreciate them.

You may not get a response when you start practicing the art of love and appreciation. I realize we shouldn’t extend words and acts of kindness looking for anything in return, but it sure is nice. If you want people to say thank you to you, then say thank you to others. When you start saying “I love you,” you may not get one in return. Too many people don’t know how to say these words, so don’t take it personally. I’ve actually won people over by saying these three important words, and eventually, they would respond in kind. This life is short for we human beings. We never know when we may have another chance.

So, how do we change the world? One person at a time. I love you. I appreciate you. It really is that simple.

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