I’ve been working with Appreciation now for years and have gradually come to know it in new and wonderful ways. In doing this ‘work,’ I’ve begun to see how important it is to appreciate everything, even the stuff I don’t like. The learning that can come through the experience of appreciation is transformational. What happens when you take what you have and help to make it grow, when you recognize that we’re all in this together?

Judith E. Glaser, author of the DNA of Leadership, sees the necessity of twenty-first century leaders fostering a spirit of partnership with others as coworkers rather than as competitors vying for limited resources. She promotes the idea of working together “to honor, support, and appreciate each person’s unique talents, capabilities, and contributions forming humanizing cultures that value diversity and respect for others.”

How different would your work environment or family be if all the players supported and involved themselves in open honest communication; where the dignity of each person was respected and acknowledged? When was the last time you were involved in a community where listening was non judgmental, communication was open and honest, and where the perspectives of others were sought for new insight?

Appreciation is not only about giving thanks, it’s also about expanding what’s given. Do you want your money, home, and material investments to appreciate or depreciate? How about your integrity, your self-awareness, your relationships, your creativity? The Way of Appreciation starts with the awareness that we’re all entangled with one another. We humans need to belong, be affirmed, recognized, appreciated, seen, and blessed.

When these basic human needs are not given, the house of our self falls apart. The lack of mature self-esteem throws us back into what is called ‘compensatory infantile grandiosity.’ The characteristics of this reaction are envy, anger, rage, and violence. How much of this have you seen within yourself and others? Can you appreciate that it’s here and embrace it? Can you appreciate your innate goodness and grow into it?

Carl Jung, the great Swiss psychoanalyst thought that human DNA had a “transcendent function” built into it that could help us overcome our obstacles and bridge our conflicts. He believed that there’s something in humans that longs for this bridging and the peace and reconciliation it brings. Could it be that we’re in a great awakening that’s teaching us to appreciate the conflict, helping us see and know that we can move beyond it?

As we do our work in the Way of Appreciation we can discover further appreciation for the gift that we are. We can learn about humility and hubris, fear and love, competition and cooperation, harmony and discord, loss and gain, blocks and bridges, smiles and frowns, what works and what doesn’t. Are you appreciating the Who that is You, growing the best and leaving the rest? Start now. I see, affirm, and lovingly bless you….

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