A little appreciation can make the other guy’s day

A little appreciation can make the other guy’s day

The Golden Rule hasn’t been rescinded. Try it. It works.

Jim Pappas CJNU
Jim Pappas

Too often in life we don’t show our appreciation for the things that are done for us. I had an amazing Uncle Leo. He was my mother’s brother, but more like an older brother to me as we were not that far apart in age.

He was the soul of kindness and you could never do enough for him to thank him. One year at Christmas he found a liver paté in a magazine and fell in love with it; he wanted to serve it at a reception he was hosting days later in his home. He asked Barbra and me to come over and make it, and for Barbra to decorate it as was done in the photo. We were thrilled to be asked, as Uncle Leo never asked much of us.

Off we went with Uncle Leo to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, and then came home to bring it all to life. My talented wife made it magical by decorating it not only as nicely as the photo but even better. He was rapturous. We left his home that evening gratified that we had been able to do something for him for a change.

Several days later he phoned and said he was dropping over to see us at home. In his usual in imitable fashion he arrived with a gift for us for helping him out with the liver paté.

Somehow we never could express to him how much we appreciated him and how little he asked in return for his kindnesses. He was always so grateful for anything you did for him.

We should learn to appreciate those who are kind to us. Often people do very small things that resonate with us. We can take these for granted, but we need to stop and reflect. How much better it would be if we all took notice of those around us who remember the small things that bring us pleasure or help us when we are in distress.

A kind word always brings a smile to those we care about. After a lovely dinner party at a friend’s home how marvellous to phone or drop a line to say how you appreciated, not only the food and the company but also the effort that was put into the evening.

We have been fortunate to have a wonderful group of friends over the years who have been kind and generous with their time. I do not want to take them for granted in any way and I always make sure to thank them for their kindnesses.

The other day there was a newspaper article about people showing their thanks on a transit bus. I realized when I was on the bus the next day that the courtesy of the driver is taken for granted. I made sure that I thanked him when I disembarked and he replied “have a good day”, which made me feel very good.

The day after I was driving around the city and encountered another of the many road repairs where two lanes were merging into one. I slowed down and motioned to the person beside me to pull in. I waited for the wave of a hand to say thank you but the person took my manners for granted – although they obviously had none.

There are all sorts of places that one can show appreciation. At the grocery store yesterday the checkout lady asked if I had realized that garlic bread was free with my purchase. I hadn’t, and she left her cash desk to go and get a bread for me. I thanked her for mentioning the free bread as well as retrieving one for me. “We appreciate you as a customer,” she responded.

So there are some signs that we are looking at a world where people treat one another with respect. To appreciate those you love is to behave as you wish to be treated yourself. After all isn’t it the “Golden Rule” to do unto others as you would have them do unto you? I still believe in that golden rule, and know many others who do as well.

Jim Pappas is a member of the CJNU board

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