How much of who and what we have in our lives is often taken for granted. It is just there; that is, until something goes wrong. In these moments of something going wrong, we are given the opportunity to truly understand just how important certain people, circumstances and possessions are in our lives.
Every morning when I switch on the tap in the shower, hot water flows freely and I don’t really give any thought to the process that takes place to allow that to happen. It just happens. That is until something happens and supply is limited. Hot water is no longer taken for granted it is now appreciated. There are so many examples from our lives that we can all give where similar circumstances arise.
We often see articles written about keeping a gratitude journal. Not a bad idea providing that those things we are being grateful for are first appreciated because they have been experienced; otherwise the journal could just become repetitive statements with little meaning or limited emotion.
The Oxford Dictionary defines appreciation as: “recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something”. Origin: late Middle English: from French appréciation, from late Latin appretiatio(n-), from the verb appretiare ‘set at a price, appraise’.
The Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude as: “the quality of being thankful”. Origin: late Middle English: from Old French, or from mediaeval Latin gratitudo, from Latin gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’.
In my humble opinion, appreciation and gratitude although being close relatives, are not one in the same thing. To be truly grateful, we must have recognition or awareness, (appreciation), of the value of someone or something before we can then give thanks (gratitude).
The art of gratitude then, begins with appreciation…………