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The Need To Be Appreciated

The Need to Be Appreciated

Hello, everyone.

Last Sunday, September 10, Lloyd Newell gave a meditation with the above title on the program “Music And The Spoken Word.”  On this one occasion, I am going to quote it verbatim.

“We all know that every person has basic needs: food, water, shelter. But we don’t often think of some less-visible needs. The philosopher and psychologist William James is credited with saying, “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” And yet so many people go days, weeks, months, or even longer without ever hearing a word of thanks or getting any recognition for their good work.

“Conveying appreciation costs so little, but it means so much. A little effort—a word or two, a note, a smile, a hug—can express how much we appreciate another person and give credit where credit is due. It can be surprising how profoundly such an act of appreciation can change people’s attitude about their work and effort and inspire them to do more. It’s hard to forget a genuine compliment or a sincere expression of appreciation and admiration. We treasure it always.

“Unfortunately, noticing the good that others are doing does not always come naturally. So the first step to helping others feel appreciated is simply to notice.

“A woman who oversaw a large community event discovered that few people took the time to thank her or even acknowledge her hard and unpaid work. She resolved to have a more abundant heart and pay attention to the service of others. A man who worked for several years under supervisors who rarely acknowledged his work or appreciated his extra efforts determined to be different if he ever became the boss. Now he is the boss, and he continually looks for ways to recognize and thank people. A mom and dad learned early in parenting that they strengthen bonds with their children and positively motivate them when they say things like “I noticed how hard you worked on that” or “Thank you for being so kind today.” All these people have learned the value of creating a generous, positive, appreciative culture, and it works in an organization, in a home, and in the heart.

“If it is true that humanity’s deepest need is the need to be appreciated, then perhaps our next greatest need should be to show appreciation—to make a difference in someone’s life by expressing how much we appreciate a job well done.”

-Lloyd D. Newell

September 10, 2017

Newell is totally correct.  We all need to know that we are loved and appreciated.

Like everyone else, I have gotten my share of “thanks until you’re better paid” comments.  Back in the 70s, I was the accompanist for a singer who had to be the focus of everything and everyone.  He was an only child, and this fact permeated his personality.  What is sad is the fact that I can’t recall one time when he actually expressed his appreciation for me and my efforts.  His parents did, and I thanked them and appreciated their kindness, but a few words from him would have made my time with him.

In my diary about class reunions, I shared the experiences of my 25th – and 40th – year reunions.  At the first one, we were all friends and equals.  Laughter and memories – and appreciation – were abundantly shared.  At the latter, that all went by the boards, and the cliques that existed during our student days were manifest and rampant.  We outsiders shared our friendship and appreciation of each other, but it just wasn’t the same as our earlier reunion.

It is a psychological fact that each and every one of us needs to be affirmed – and affirmed regularly.  MANY years ago, I read a story about an American lady who visited a German orphanage.  A darling little girl came up to the American and said several times, “Bitte liebe mich.”  The lady never responded, and the little girl finally walked away and sat down in a corner of the room and began to cry.  The lady at the orphanage asked the American, “How could you turn your back on that poor little girl?”  The American said that she couldn’t understand what the girl was saying.  The other lady answered, “She was saying, ‘Please love me.’”  The American lady had the German lady bring the little girl back to her.  She then hugged the little girl and said over and over, “Ich liebe dich!” (“I love you!”)  I don’t think the story said so, but I can picture the little girl’s face lighting up brighter than a million suns.

In this diary, I have used the words “appreciation” and “love” interchangeably, because I believe that they ARE interchangeable.  If you love someone, you appreciate them.  Conversely, if you appreciate someone, you love them.  It is almost impossible for one to appreciate an enemy.

Appreciation can be expressed in so many ways – a smile, a hug, a kiss, a clasp of the hand, a pat on the shoulder, a kind word, even a gift.  HOW appreciation is expressed is not what is important.  What IS important is that appreciation for another person be expressed.

“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”  William James is absolutely correct.  It is amazing what love, understanding, and appreciation can do to the human soul.

You all have a good day today and a great day tomorrow.




September 14, 2017 - Posted by | Life, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized | ,

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