The Gift of Appreciation
For those of who who read my blog daily (thank you!), you know that my parents have been visiting this week. What a wonderful week! We’ve done a city tour, spent time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, saw a Broadway show (their first), and last night, when it’s hard to imagine life getting any richer, we culminated in a surprise celebration to mark a very special birthday for my very special mother.
My mother has many gifts. She’s an extraordinary artist (I’m not just saying that because she’s my mom – she really is. Check it out for yourself!), a great cook, a loyal friend, a great listener. But one of her greatest gifts, is appreciation. No one on earth appreciates better than my mother. When she sees a sunset, she really sees the sunset. She takes it in for all its beauty and fully appreciates its magnificence. When someone does anything for her – even little things like moving over for her on the subway or holding a door for her, she sincerely appreciates their gesture, and lets them know it. It’s been so gratifying to have her as a house guest, as no one is more fun to cook for than my mother. She makes me feel like Julia Child!
When I’m with her, I’m reminded of what a powerful gift that is – appreciation. Her ability to fully see and appreciate all the wonders that are around her certainly makes her experience richer. And being around her makes me see them too. Things I may have missed or taken for granted, had she not pointed them out. Isn’t it fascinating that it’s all in how we look at the world around us, that creates our experience?
Imagine what would be possible in our lives – in our work, in our families, in our communities – if we could all simply learn to appreciate what is right there in front of us. It’s a pretty powerful thought. What impact might that have?
We can’t control what others allow themselves to see and experience, but we can start with ourselves. If, as leaders, we were to simply appreciate more, might that change things? I suspect more than we know.
Try it. Let me know how it goes.
Oh, and just so you know, to quote my favorite Dallas saying: “Appreciate ya!”
©OnStage Leadership, 2013
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