Sunday, April 27, 2008

Appreciation

I've been thinking often about the concept of appreciation lately. I don't think I've ever really "gotten it". It's not that I think I'm some kind of ungrateful jerk, but most of the time my journey to "thank you" doesn't take me quite so far out of the way as it does other people. I usually see the things people do as a token of their appreciation as something that they feel like they should do -- as if their mom would show up and nag them about it if they didn't do it.

However, something clicked in me recently. I think I got it. There are a lot of reasons to show your appreciation. Naturally, the best reason would be selfless, genuine gratitude, but I sometimes wonder if that's something that humans are honestly capable of deep down. It's interesting, because that's a topic that the book I'm currently reading, Blue Like Jazz, addresses. I digress. Tonight was "Leader Appreciation Night" at Awana. I got a surprising number of gifts. Not from every student, which made it feel like they weren't doing it out of obligation. I'd been spending some time thinking about this topic, and seeing these parents come in today with these gifts one after the other made me realize that they really do care. Only one more class, and then no more Awana Cubbies until the fall.

I think I get it now... and I realize that although I feel I've been grateful for the things that people do for me large and small, I haven't been good at showing that appreciation.

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