26 May Can’t you do this much for me?
“Beta, uncle ko thank you bolo!”
As a child, all of us are taught to appreciate our relatives, community helpers when they do something for us.
But how often are we taught to appreciate our parents or even our siblings?
How often do we express gratitude without any good deed done?
How often do we hug our parents and just thank them for their presence?
Two years ago, a friend introduced me to gratitude, and until then, gratitude to me meant saying thank you to our helpers.
Dhruv: “I am making a gratitude group on WhatsApp for us.”
Dhruv: “Every day, we will put down 5 things we are grateful for.”
Apeksha: “Why? I am not doing this.”
Dhruv: “You have to. After a few days, if you still don’t see the point of this, then we can delete it.”
On the 1st day, I was really struggling with what to write. I started recalling the events of my day. I wrote 2-3 things just for the sake. The next 2 days were the same. But on the 4th day, I was excited to write.
Gradually, I started to understand its meaning. It made me appreciate my friends & family, the little things in life, but most importantly, it gave me positivity, so I decided to hold on to it.
When I was in school, I had a friend who never carried a tiffin. So I started bringing extra food so that I could share it with her.
One day, I needed a favour from her. But she was resisting. So to convince her, jokingly I said “I bring extra food for you. Can’t you do this much for me?”
The moment the words were out, I regretted them. I wished I hadn’t said that.
When I was a child, my dad had taught me something.
He used to say, “When you do something for someone, you must do it because you want to. Do it selflessly. But don’t do it & act as if you have done them a favour. Because the moment you point it out to them, your selfless act defeats its purpose.”
I have always practised this. But this one time, I made a mistake.
It made me happy to do something for my friend, to care for her. I never expected anything in return from her. Although what I did was selfless, deep down I wanted her to appreciate me, to acknowledge me. Maybe even a simple thank you would’ve been sufficient. But I didn’t want to ask for it.
If we could straight up tell someone that they’re unappreciative, life would be so simple.
Everyone wants to be appreciated. I feel that is an innate tendency of us humans.
Nobody asks for it, but everyone needs it.
But is it okay to demand appreciation in certain situations?
A few months ago, my friends – Dhruv, Adi, Shiv and I were working on a project. Dhruv and I have a habit of bickering and taunting each other. We do it just for fun. And that day, I did just that. I was complaining about him in front of others. But then Adi said something which made me realise my fault.
He said, “If you constantly keep complaining and not appreciate some changes he is making for you, he won’t be motivated to change further.”
Even though what I said was just for fun, it made me realise the grave mistake I was making. I was being unappreciative of the things he had done for me. I felt like a stinker.
We are quick to find fault in people. But rarely do we appreciate their kind gestures.
This is just a case that caught my attention. There must be many others I don’t know yet. How many times have I been ungrateful?
The same day, I called up Dhruv. I apologised to him. I told him to point it out to me the next time I do that. I told him to demand appreciation the next time I was being unappreciative. Or else I will never realise and keep doing it again and again.
We are often unappreciated, but we don’t say anything. We keep it inside and let it haunt us. Why don’t we ask for it directly? We deserve it. We only want to be acknowledged by our dear ones.
If I never know that I am being unappreciative, then I am hurting them. And if I am unappreciated, then I am hurting myself.
If we can appreciate strangers easily, why is it so difficult to appreciate our loved ones so frequently?
Especially when you are close to someone, it is important to remember to appreciate them. On the other hand, since it is someone you love, it is more than okay to ASK for the appreciation you need, too.
Ask and you shall receive.
Give and you shall appease.