Do they know they play an important role in your daily life?
Shoe shiner. Store clerk. Hospital orderly, government clerk, plumber, person who brings your soup, cab driver.
Consider: VP, COO, CFO, CEO, Assistant to the _____.
Or, husband, wife, parent, child, partner, lover.
Everyone is under-appreciated.
Could be most people don’t know us, don’t know the great things we do, don’t know how hard we work or how much we care about issues, causes – and about them.
We never know, don’t truly know if we matter to anyone unless they tell us.
We only guess how someone feels unless they tell us. Turn that around for a moment – and ask if anyone knows how you feel?
Do those you love, know you love them?
How do you show them?
People you respect – do they know you respect them?
People you appreciate and admire – do they know you appreciate and admire them?
One year – to appreciate charming colleague I lusted after – on Valentine’s day I bought 11 roses, one for each woman in that office. Inge knew exactly what I was doing and why. 10 others felt appreciated. Next day things returned to normal. Inge remained married (drat) , but that’s another story.
Sadly, we (me mostly) step it up one day a year and then fail for 364 days.
Real expressions of appreciation last longer. If we appreciate someone – telling them, telling them often, is never hurtful.
If we don’t know, we could ask. Or we could give a rose. Or we could do both.
Valentine greetings are nice – but they only last a day.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -11C / 12F, light overcast, another warming day – YAY! .. soft snow inspired Gusta to roll and slither a bit like she did as a pup, walking was easier this morning though slippery will continue for a long while yet. Lots of rabbit tracks in the cemetery this morning – the coyotes must be napping …
Hey Mark -- in "What is it about -- and what does it mean?" I think you have illuminated two aspects of an important theme in life that can help us get to at least a partial answer. The first aspect focuses on how we attempt to communicate, and how we should communicate. You said, "[t]here is no point standing on a stage if you have nothing to say", and "there is no point shouting a message, however loud, in an empty room." Most would agree -- plus, there is more to the picture of how we use language as a communication tool and emphasize what it is we aim to communicate. Sometimes, we say a great deal by saying very little -- just like Salvador Dali who gave the world's shortest speech: "I will be so brief I have already finished" (he then immediately sat down)! Dali's 9-word statement totally reflects what Wittgenstein wrote in the Tractacus: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Beautiful. If you don't know what you're talking about, keep quiet! This brings us to what I think you brought out as the second aspect of a life theme. This aspect is about a philosophical approach that underpins ways and goals of communication, and the decisions and actions that underpin them. It's not everyone's approach, but it applies to some! Not to overdo it by bringing in the "big guns" and the "strong, silent type", but I am here recalling the movie character examples of "Marshal Will Kane" (Gary Cooper) in "High Noon," and "Blondie" (Clint Eastwood) in "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly." Both are fictional examples of the quintessential "man of few words". There are many other such examples. What do they represent? The lonely one. The one who doesn't "play the game" like everyone else. The one who is stoically principled (at least in most ways) and chooses to fight his battles alone. The one who acts alone, whose path is only his own, and reflects alone because that is the only path, essentially the deeply principled stoic theme in life. It is similar to the path of the Samurai warrior with no master who lives by the life vows of discipline, excellence, service, awareness, and silence. We can reformulate Wittgenstein to offer the beginnings of an answer to your opening questions: "Living as one and saying little, one knows whereof one speaks." Hopefully what I just wrote isn't too much of a mess -- it's just my first reaction to your column. Bottom line comes from Socrates: "the unexamined life is not worth living." Best wishes for a great approach to the upcoming Spring / Cheers / BE, Calgary, AB