Can You Teach Appreciation?

Is it a lost art to show appreciation?  Life seems to move at break-neck speed these days. We don’t even have time to have conversations, but rather send cryptic 140-word tweets or text messages.

Do you ever wonder how our children and the broader younger generation will learn the art of appreciation?

Take food, for instance; nowadays you can have a meal fully prepared or semi-prepared delivered to your door. Convenience is great, but gone is the satisfaction of lovingly cooking a meal for your loved ones every now and then. Some rarely thank the cook. Few really savor the flavors of food. Many lost or never knew the art of enjoying a family meal without the intrusion of the constant blaring of television.

Life is Short

We have a limited number of days on this planet. Children grow up in the blink of an eye. How can we teach them and remind ourselves to appreciate the people in our lives?  Our calendars are already full.  Adding another thing to do seems dreadful.

If you think back, your parents seemed to have gotten so much done in a day. Without all the technological and labor saving devices we have, they went to work at home or outside the house, yet had time for immediate and extended family, friends, chores, and favorite past-times.

Often children do not have household chores and will say in a heartbeat that they don’t have time to help around the house, call Grandma, or sit and talk with Grandpa.

As we approach our mid-years, we find ourselves going to funerals of older relatives, regretting that we didn’t spend more time or call more often to check on them.

Fast forward, will your children understand the importance of spending quality time with you and checking on you as you age? Not that they don’t love you, they do, but they too will get busy.

In the scheme of life, you want to raise them to be self-sufficient and independent individuals; that’s your role as a parent. Somehow you want also to instill the habit and art of showing appreciation. One suggestion is to urge them to deliberately say thank you to our elders for their help, gestures, and love.

Show Your Appreciation

Aside from family, we need to have friends to flesh out a well-rounded rewarding life. Appreciating friends is just as important as recognizing family. Everyone gets busy. It is worth the extra effort to keep in contact. Social media helps, but there is nothing like the recognition of a friend’s voice on the other end of the telephone calling to check on you.

Appreciation is about being grateful. It’s about taking the time to thank family and friends for being a part of your life. Be thankful for the little things that people do as well as the big stuff. Teach it, preach it, and live it; what goes around, comes around.

Let's continue the conversation. What are your comments on this topic?