BEST ADVICE GIVEN BY A MOTHER:
A BEAUTIFUL STORY WRITTEN BY JONATHAN PETIT, A GREAT NOVELIST ON THE POWER OF APPRECIATION:
‘I was about ten. My mom had just finished creating one of her amazing meals and I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was simply Delicious. Later, as I was washing the dishes, my mom came up to me, ‘Sorry, dinner was so awful again.’ She said. I was shocked, ‘What? No, it was great. I loved it. You are the best cook in the whole world.’ ‘Really?’ she said, with mock surprise. ‘You always eat so quietly, never saying anything. You’ve never told me you liked my cooking, so I thought you hated it.’
Jonathan again said in a loving tone, ‘No, my darling Mom, you’re the best cook I know and I love you for being so kind and generous.’ ‘Then you should tell me that,’ she said. ‘Whenever someone does something nice for you, you should thank that person. If you don’t, then they might think they are not appreciated and loved and would stop doing those nice things.’
Something clicked in me right then. From that day onwards, I made it my sincere practice to thank everyone for literally everything. If anyone did something that even vaguely helped me, I thanked that person profusely. It became a habit, something I didn’t even think about, and that’s when the magic started happening. People liked me more. They talked to me more, shared with me, were more friendly.
In my first year of high school, during the final week, I came home and found a giant freezie (a kind of sweet of frozen snack) waiting for me. ‘Thanks, mom!’ I said instinctively.’ ‘This isn’t from me, she said. ‘This is from your bus driver.’ He had been driving that bus for years, and my siblings and I were the first people to ever thank him as we got dropped off to school. Those two simple words made a huge difference, so much so that he went out of his way to tell our mom and give us a present.’
That is the power of appreciation. When you have it, all is right and beautiful in the world, but when it is missing life is empty and dull. My mom taught me many things, but taking two seconds to say ‘thank you’ every time in any situation, was the best. The other person felt so appreciated and there would be a beaming smile of joy on their faces.
Debriefing of this Story: You would have met people who call themselves as good critics but have you ever met a person who says I am good at appreciating others? Isn’t that a sad part of our society? Let’s start appreciating people more frequently especially people who are close to us. Be kind to one and all we meet in our lives. ‘The sweetest of all sounds is praise. Let’s start it today.’