By P Chong 12 May 2010
William James, one of the founders of modern psychology said this: “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.”
I couldn’t agree more, and in fact, we never know when a few kind words can change a life forever. Feeling valuable and appreciated is the basic & fundamental need & craving of all mankind. You can make a difference in making this world a better place to live in by the words you use & the way you act towards your fellow human beings.
Here’s an unforgettable story about the power of appreciation. I am sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do! You can paint a picture with a thousand words, but nothing like the physical sight or having it related in the form of a story.
“The Simple Truths of Appreciation”
by Barbara Glanz
Bob Danzig has an amazing story. Simple words of appreciation and encouragement changed his life. Bob was in five foster homes during his youth, and said he spent his childhood trying to find someone to love and appreciate him.
When he was nine years old, he had a new social worker. He said after she had done all the paperwork to move him to yet another foster home, she sat him down, looked him directly in the eyes, and said, “Bobby, I want you to always remember these words: YOU ARE WORTHWHILE!”
Bob says that no one had ever said anything like that to him, and each time they met, she repeated those words. They became an affirmation of appreciation that he heard over and over again in his head. Those three words “You Are Worthwhile” dwelt permanently in his heart!
Bob graduated at sixteen, not because he was smart, he says, but because he got mixed up in the system!
He soon took a job at the Albany New York Times as a copy boy, and his very first boss was a woman named Margaret. After he had worked there about six months, Margaret called him into her office one day and asked him to sit down. He thought for sure he was going to be fired! She looked him right in the eyes and said to him, “I have been the office manager for 15 years – I have been observing you – and I believe YOU ARE FULL OF PROMISE.” Those words, on that day, gave him permission to aspire.
Those two positive messages of appreciation played over and over again in his head and ultimately gave him the courage to be the very best he could be. Sixteen years later he became the Publisher of the Albany New York Times, and seven years after that, he became CEO of Hearst Newspapers, one of the largest newspaper companies in the world; and he credits it all to those simple words of appreciation and love. What a wonderful example of how little gifts of appreciation can make such a difference in a life!
In this, I am drawn to a similar story “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo. This famous French novel contains many plots, but the main thread centres on an ex-convict, Jean Valjean (known by his prison number, 24601) whose life was changed for good but could not escape his dark past. A rejected convict he was, until taken in by the benevolent Bishop Myriel, the Bishop of Digne, who gave him shelter. Caught by the police with stealing & running away with the Bishop’s silverware, the Bishop rescued him by assuring the police that the silverware was a gift & further gave him his two silver candlesticks as well.
The Bishop then “reminded” of the promise, which Valjean had no recollection whatsoever, to use the silver to make an honest man of himself.
That little act of the Bishop’s kindness was the turning point for Valjean’s life. Six years passed and Valjean, having assumed the pseudonym Monsieur Madeleine to avoid capture, became a wealthy factory owner and was even appointed mayor of his adopted town of Montreuil-sur-Mer.
Though his dark past kept creeping up on him, he maintained the path of righteousness. In his final moments, he realised happiness with his adopted daughter & son-in-law by his side.
Care to help a fellow being on the right track in life?
Remember what I wrote:”Doing Good Always Feel So Good”