Connecting local responses around the world
I was so glad that a platform was created at our working place, for us to come together, bi-weekly, to share our way of thinking and working, in line with the PRINCIPLES of SALT.
Those who were able to make it came together in fellowship of the BEYOND COMMUNITY, sharing experiences and supporting one another.
Last session, we came together to share on the POWER of APPRECIATION. We shared on how we have appreciated others and what impact it has, and how others have appreciated us and how did we feel about it.
Appreciation is more than gratitude, but if someone has not experienced appreciation, it may not be easy. We can always start by being grateful of things we have, of people in our lives, what we did.
The positive energy that flows from appreciation is incredible – it makes people want to respond/give/do more and to appreciate others in return.
I remember reading a quotation from Mother Teresa, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”
The experiences from my colleagues were inspiring and it made me convinced on the Power of Appreciation, so I would like to share their experiences with you.
- Joanne and her team had a Family Strengthening Day for Mdm. A, her family and extended family. During the planning and the day itself, the team was wondering whether Mdm. A would be participative.
They decided to see how the day goes and to give Mdm. A the support and encouragement that she needs.
The team was amazed of how Mdm. A did everything – preparing food, serving meals, making sure all went well and Mdm. A participated very well during the sessions.
During the de- brief, Joanne and her team praised Mdm. A for her participation and pointed out all the things she did for her family. They affirmed her strengths and showed appreciation for what she has done.
In Joanne’s words, “Mdm. A’s face became so radiant, she felt great being appreciated.”
Mdm. A told the team that she looks forward to the next Family Strengthening Day. She said that she will do the contact for her family and extended family, planning/preparing of meals, etc.
- Sharon – This is a lady who a lot of other colleagues find very hard to engage. The truth is, she is as simple and honest and sincere as one can get, but she can be quite loud when she gets upset. Her children were always crying or demanding attention and whenever they walked into one of our offices, it would feel like a tornado was coming in.
Pascale shared “even though she was loud and always seemed to have some problems or another, I admired her a lot. I remembered how she had this long bicycle with many seats and she would cycle all her children with her.
She was equally harsh with me initially and very distrustful when I tried to get to know her.
I spent many times a week getting to know her. She had one of the cleanest houses I had ever seen. I learnt to respect her a lot when she sometimes would share her meagre
meals with me and invite me to stay for dinner.
She was proud of the fact that she knew many languages even though she could not read or write.
As I reminded her of her strengths and appreciated her for who she is, she appreciated me for being there for her, listening to her when she needed to talk.
Last year, I stepped in and helped her to re-connect with her caseworker.
Sharon asked me what I told her caseworker. I said, [‘I told your caseworker that you are a lovely person, hardworking and honest. Out of all the people I’ve worked with in the past 10 years in BEYOND, you are one that I truly valued and appreciated. That you need a lot of listening ear and need to know that people are sincere with you and treat you well. I also said that you went through a lot when you were younger, which is why you appear to be aggressive, but that underneath all that behavior, is a really kind heart.’]”
Sharon then said laughingly, ”me? kind heart?
Then Sharon said, “True, I have a kind heart and never want to hurt anyone, but people always hurt me.”
Pascale continued, “The next day I learnt that Sharon went to meet her caseworker, and their relationship is getting better now.”
A week later, Sharon phoned to ask whether BEYOND would help a family who has a child who is disabled, just like the way we have helped her. So, now this family has been connected to us by Sharon.
Pascale concluded, “It was amazing how the power of appreciation works. Sharon felt truly appreciated for who she is and her strengths reinforced, she was able to give back by helping someone else in a worse situation that her.”
- Stella, another colleague, shared, “I was with this mother, who just needed someone to listen to her, so I sat with her and listened, listened, listened. I affirmed her strengths as she shared and appreciated her for her openness and the things that she has done. When this mother has finished sharing, she stood up and gave me a hug. I felt and saw in that simple gesture of her hug – her appreciation for me and for my appreciating her.”
From my colleagues sharing, I see the enormous difference that occurs when people are thinking and feeling appreciated.
Appreciation is a powerful life principle that we all can live by. It seems magical. It empowers people and makes them want to do more.
Believe in the Power of Appreciation and take time to appreciate ourselves/others and observe the difference it makes to our daily life.
William James said, “The Deepest Principle in HUMAN NATURE is the Craving to be APPRECIATED.”