Thursday, November 29, 2012

THOUGHTS ON APPRECIATION

Appreciation is a judgement,baptized in beauty and adorned with a crown. Its a rebirth of an action, given meaning by those who witnessed it; appreciation implies community...

Appreciation is a choice, an intentional framing bent on love and uplifting the other. Its an offering that's hard to reject because the act of appreciating is self-less; fulfillment of the giver is equal and dependent upon the delight of the recipient...

In appreciation there is no competition, only celebration and connection... 

Appreciation requires you to stop and truly see the people around you; to consider their works and to value them...

Appreciation does not focus on deficiencies and failures, but rather praises the labor offered and act of attempting...

Appreciation is a practice. In the same way Doctors practice medication and Lawyers practice law, we can practice appreciation in our everyday lives.

So, back to the beginning - appreciation is a judgment. 

Judging others, in and of itself, is inherently neither bad nor good. Judging is the act of evaluating, and through evaluation one forms a conclusion, i.e. the judgment. With that said, it seems to me the biggest determining factor of ones' conclusion are the tools of evaluation.

Evaluation can be swift...a sideways glance at a homeless person outside the grocery store selling newspapers or asking for change...in a split second one can decide -I'm going to ignore this 'problem'- or -this person is an alcoholic/drug addict and therefore unworthy of my hard earned money.The question is, what are the values here? If one chooses to ignore, maybe the value is peace of mind? Maybe the value is money? Sobriety? Whatever the values may be, it is clear that the individual is not among them.

I've learned for my evaluation to end in appreciation, I need to focus on the individual and work my way out, not the other way around. To start with the surface and work your way in, is to value the works of an individual over the individual themselves, and it ignores the intentions of the individual while lacking insight on exactly what it took for the individual to produce the surface outcomes. This type of evaluation  seems to end in a judgement -be it good or bad- that is incomplete, inaccurate, and less humane than possible.

Powerful Voices has taught me a lot about the value of appreciation. The imprint this ever-present practice leaves on people who come in and out of this office is undeniable. From the young people we serve, to employees and volunteers- no one is left out of this showering of love.

It fills my core with light and warmth when I am able to be a part of uplifting and bringing joy to someone through simple words and thoughtful gifts! And when I'm on the other end, well, it makes me feel valued, capable, and special. It gives me energy and drive to continue on, and it makes me want to do better!

I swear, appreciation is the most simple, basic, healing, and trans-formative medicine freely available to us all!

An Example of Powerful Voices' Practice of Appreciation and Gratitude





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