Appreciation got to me in so many ways. So many different times in my life, some fake ones, some heartfelt ones, some forced ones. When recently, someone praised me, I got thinking about its aftereffect. And I realized, so simply, appreciation is the happy key to life. We live to be appreciated, to prove that we are worth all the space we occupy. Yet we are misers in giving other people a few words of worth.
Don’t get me wrong; I really love a good critique. We all want to be pushed with the hard truth, but deep down we love it when someone loves us. We love it when we matter, when we are the centre of the universe for someone (hence all the love for Shah Rukh Khan in his movies). All we need are a few words, a few smiles to slog through the bad times.
Then a pretty deep thought ran across my mind: When was the last time I appreciated a person? I have always been a bit stubborn in giving compliments, probably due to the fact that very few things impress me. I am the in-your-face kind of truthful person who hates sugar coating the truth because I feel I am strong and stable enough to face it. Yet I cannot deny the effect compliments have on me. The yearning for more and more is additive.
The paradigm against compliments is that they automatically arouse wrong expectations. It doesn’t prepare you for what you will face ahead; it doesn’t prepare you for the shoutings your boss is going to give you. It does not prepare you for the reality of life, which is: It is not as simple as that. Life is so complicated that sometimes I feel that I should stop thinking about it, to shut it out of my mind, as there is no use doing so. Whatever I feel I can achieve, I cannot. Whatever I don’t want, I get. Whatever I don’t feel strongly about, I end up regretting not feeling so. So the real question is: Why am I even writing this article?
Because life is complicated, and beautifully so. The world is an intricate web, so delicate yet so strong, that we are bound to be attracted to each and every twist it offers. And that is the beauty of it. We can be dissatisfied, heartbroken, and frustrated with the world, but we still want to live. We still want to see what it offers us, and we are ready to face whatever sadness it directs in the meantime for those few seconds of euphoria. We matter to ourselves the most, and it would be a lie to say that someone else does.
What I am really trying to say is that we go through a lot in life only to experience the happiness we feel so rarely. We need to increase our happiness and decrease that sadness from our lives. Compliments are very powerful tools, and when used convincingly, they can elevate a person to different heights, can change a person’s perspective, can motivate them so much that they write their second article late at night when they should be sleeping (yours truly). Compliments are like drugs: the more you get, the more often you want them.
And just like real drugs, they have a huge price. Working hard (yawn).
Shafia Khan is an Indian student who spent most of her life in Saudi Arabia and procrastinating. She believes that the simplest of words make the hardest impact, and she identifies herself as an “enthusiast” of pretty much everything on this planet. During the past two years, she has been taking baby steps toward a more positive outlook and fresher perspective, documenting her struggle through her blog: Come Out Positive.