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The power of appreciation

  • Published at 04:53 pm October 20th, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:27 am October 21st, 2017
The power of appreciation

Recently, in an interview with a business magazine, my line manager wholeheartedly praised my team’s contribution in a certain task that our organisation has accomplished lately.

We were over the moon. I noticed an expressed impact on the psyche of my teammates who have been putting forth their best efforts in the task.

My boss’s public appreciation multiplied their motivation and I saw a different kind of confidence in their faces.

Rightly so -- this is what the power of appreciation is. It increases your self-esteem and improves the social behaviour in order to accomplish more.

Appreciation also leaves a lasting impact on the person’s life and work which, in turn, also leaves an impact on the person’s family members.

I realised the fact that there’s a direct link between performance and appreciation from others when I was just a little boy.

In fact, every child has this ability. In my cadet college days, I found most of my teachers and seniors didn’t know or didn’t want to appreciate whatever small achievements I was accomplishing at that young age.

However, there were a few, a very few, whose sanguine encouragement kept me going in the hostile environment of cadet college.

I remember a senior cadet who was extremely passionate about literature. All his cadet college life, he was involved in the publication of newsletters, wall magazines, and yearly college magazines.

This man had the amazing ability to inspire other cadets to write poems, short stories, and essays. As an editor, he never discouraged anyone; rather, his mission, it seemed, was to make us successful as young writers.

Where we falter

There are some people who have inherent power to inject positive energy into others; I believe these are the people who actually keep humanity running for progress. On the other hand, most other people, whom you might consider as your support, could discourage you very badly.

There’s an acquaintance of mine who often writes on social media as well as in a few online sites. Whenever I had an opportunity, I got this person introduced to various publishers and writers in order to promote him in the mainstream.

He, on the other hand, always, and publicly, demonises the quality of my writings which ultimately throws me into a dark orbit of frustration, from which it takes quite some time to recover.

Yes, of course, it’s their responsibility. But don’t they deserve a note of appreciation for shouldering those responsibilities?

What do you do with this type of acquaintance who’d never encourage you in anything? Well, I’ve decided to widen the gap between him and me. I’d seek more suggestions and advice from those whose intentions are to make me better, not to make me a “nothing.”

I believe we should have more people (be thankful to them) who rekindle our inner spirits and encourage us to get better at what we are doing.

The reason I’m saying all this is because, I believe, there’s a serious lack of appreciative attitude in our social and political arenas. As a nation, and as a society, it has been seen that we cannot appreciate the achievements or good deeds others are accomplishing in their everyday lives.

As a father, I also falter in this regard. I fail to appreciate my children’s achievements when they are expecting to be encouraged. Rather than appreciating what they achieved, I push them towards further achievements. But when I do appreciate what they do, they start pursuing those other achievements on their own volition.

Taking for granted

Let’s look at our nation. Have we ever thanked our leaders for running the state of the affairs? We all know they have innumerable limitations; but they also have many successes which are keeping this country going.

We had arranged thousands of protest rallies in order to put forth our point of views, but have we ever organised a “thank you rally” which may inspire them to become more pro-people in their work?

Our appreciation may instill more confidence in them to become better leaders.

Let’s come to back to our own families or the organisations that we work for. When was the last time we thanked our parents for being our parents? For most of us, never. We perhaps never thanked our parents for the efforts they put in all their lives.

When was the last time we thanked our CEO for running the company? Our line managers for guiding us through?

We take it for granted that it’s the responsibility of our parents to be parents, it’s the responsibility of our CEO to perform as a CEO, it’s the responsibility of our line manager to guide as a line manager.

Yes, of course, it’s their responsibility. But don’t they deserve a note of appreciation for shouldering those responsibilities?

I’m sure there are many people who do appreciate others all the time; however, I have a feeling the number of such persons are very few in our society. And, I also believe, that these few have kept society agile to embrace the challenges that we face in our everyday lives.

I thank those people, and like the French novelist Marcel Proust, I say: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

Ekram Kabir is a fiction writer and a columnist.

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