I usually ask people what is the biggest lesson of their life so far. The idea is that someone else’s life lesson can be a big help in times of distress. All of us undergo a process of learning throughout our lives and what better way than to learn from each other’s experiences.
Although I have got some remarkable responses but one of the most important ones came from my friend and roommate. She said her life lesson was that ‘we should acknowledge a person before it is too late.’
“We value virtue but do not discuss it. The honest bookkeeper, the faithful wife, the earnest scholar get little of our attention compared to the embezzler, the tramp, the cheat.”
If we think about it, we complain about various things very often and some of them are minor issues. It is easy to complain but a certain conviction is required to acknowledge a person. How many of us just go out there and tell a person, ‘Good job!’ On the surface, it does not seem worth to vex ourselves over such a trivial matter but think about it in your own context. When you try very hard to do something but are not cut out for it, the only thing you want is for someone to encourage you to keep going and acknowledge you for giving it your best shot. Alternately, when you receive the affirmation you deserve for your work, it adds to your self-confidence and most importantly adds to your happiness. Recognition is the best motivation a person can get.
In under graduation, I was the Mess Secretary of my hostel. I still remember that the first thing our warden told me was, “You have every right to complain if the food is not good, but also remember to go and thank the cooks when the food is good.” So, I started doing that and they were extremely happy. They had always felt to be at the receiving end of the indifference of students as nobody used to hail them for their work which was really important to them. Just a simple ‘thanks’ made a lot of difference.
If we talk about it on personal level, it is very important to acknowledge yourself. There will be times when there is no one to encourage and applaud you; you have to be your own admirer. It is very important to learn to love yourself before you expect others to love you. You should never stop loving yourself because of some momentary setbacks; instead recognize yourself for emerging through the worst times. Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal has said that the terror of a sea does not give anyone security and no one can escape from it except the self preserving shell. The way to self love and self preservation is through self gratification, therefore, always have faith in yourself and acknowledge yourself in whatever you do.
P.S- I would love to have some life lessons in the comments below.