Power of Appreciation

Monday, November 1, 2010

Who doesn’t like to be liked? We all seek acceptance from those around us. It’s part of human nature to yearn for a place in the heart of others. Ask anyone in your workplace what treatment they most want at work. They will likely top their list with the desire to be treated with dignity and respect. As Aretha Franklin says, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T - find out what it means to me.”

When Sally Field received her second Oscar for her starring role in the 1984 drama Places in the Heart, she offered a memorable acceptance speech. She said, "I haven't had an orthodox career, and I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!" She wanted the acceptance and respect of her peers.

According to Maslow, man has a hierarchy of needs. After our basic physical needs are met and we feel safe and secure, we have a need for love, friendship, and belonging. John Dewey, American philosopher, psychologist, and education reformer, said a person’s deepest urge is his “desire to be important.”

One of the first Americans to be paid a salary over a million dollars a year was Charles Schwab, who became president of United States Steel Company in 1921. When asked why he was chosen for this position and was paid such a high salary when there were many others who knew more about the steel industry, Schwab said it was largely because of his ability to deal with people. In his own words, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm in my people, the greatest asset I posses, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”

We all have a need to be acknowledged, recognized, noticed, and appreciated.

How can we make others feel appreciated? The Golden Rule sums up the best method for treating others with respect –

Do to others what you would have them do to you. Matthew 7:12

How did Jesus teach us to treat others? Two of the beatitudes provide some insight into the way Christians are supposed to relate to their fellowmen. "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7). If we want others to show mercy to us, we need to show mercy to others. "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). This verse reminds us to promote peace in our relationships. Matthew described the "compassion" of Jesus. Matthew says: "Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitude, he was moved with compassion, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (Mt. 9:35-36).

Jesus taught us to love others and treat them with compassion, gentleness, generosity, kindness and forgiveness. When we follow his pattern, others will feel appreciated. The one who gives and the one who receives appreciation will be blessed!

Who in your world needs to feel appreciated today?


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