Appreciation and Gratitude Begins with Awareness
It’s all a matter of awareness, being in the present moment … the magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses. ~Author Unknown
Recovering perfectionist that I am, at the one-year anniversary of this blog I decided to go back to the first post and work my way forward, reviewing – tweaking here and there – improving articles and SEO where I could. That “review” has become an annual tradition that I carry out each summer. Of course 380 articles later it was a whole lot easier that first year than it is now heading into the 4th. But it’s still an important ritual for me, and one of the “perks” is being able to occasionally share an earlier post that had merit, but because of being the new kid on the virtual block, few people got around to reading.
Today I’d like to revisit a short TED Talk by Dr. Laura Trice on the value of appreciation and praise. Of course volumes have been written about the value of expressing gratitude toward others, but most people draw the line when it comes to daring to ask for appreciation for their own actions. Some would even say that this is downright egotistical – but is it, really?
After all, we teach people how to treat us, and can you imagine what a positive difference it would make in the quality of your life if this gratitude thing inherently flowed both ways?
Heartfelt Gratitude Begins with Awareness
Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy jet pilot who served in Vietnam. One day, Charles and his wife were in a restaurant when a man came up and said, “You’re Plumb, aren’t you? You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk and you were shot down!”
“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.
“I packed your parachute.” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!”
Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about the man who had literally held his fate in his hands. “I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.
“Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.” Charles Plumb
As you go through this day, this week, why not take a moment to thank the people who pack your parachutes … and while you’re at it, give some thought to where you could use a little praise and acknowledgement for the things you do for others. It’s just as important for you to learn to ask for what you need, as it is for you to ask others what they need to feel appreciated.
Dr. Laura Trice is a therapist and coach, devoted to practices that help people find fulfillment. She’s created a therapeutic program called Writing in Recovery that uses creative skills such as journaling and music to help people develop better self-awareness and set goals.
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