Monday, July 20, 2015

"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." William James

I think that most people in life are underappreciated, or at least they feel underappreciated. Think of all the times you have gone far above and beyond what was expected of you in your profession, and no one even acknowledged your efforts. Although you can offer yourself the intrinsic credit of a good job with a pat on your own back, sometimes it is just great to receive a thank you from someone else. 

For those who are reading my blog for the first time, I retired from teaching in 2011 to care for my husband who was diagnosed with and dying from stage four colon cancer, and then I retired from coaching Varsity Boys' Golf in 2014, after 33 years as head coach.  I have been "out of the loop" of receiving any kind of acknowledgements from students, since I have not been at school for several years.  Then, last week, I received an unexpected and wonderful thank you letter from a parent of one of my former golfers!  Nothing really lifts the soul quite like the knowledge that someone appreciates something that YOU have done for them. This letter was extraordinary.

The parent wrote a wonderful open letter with the title "Thank you to the rest of The Village". (Referring to the famous African Proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child."  ) She talks about the swift passing of the years as her son was growing up, as well as the friends, relatives, teachers, and coaches who helped to shape her son's life, whether it was when he was a tiny child, elementary student, middle school student, or high school adolescent.  The coup de grace of the text is this line that she wrote: "Thank you to all of you. Big or small, you made a difference in the life of my child, and I will be forever grateful."

I was overcome with tears as I read the letter, which also included at least 50 photos of her son through the years.  Such a charming and caring way to say thank you to others,  and to appreciate and acknowledge those individuals who helped to shape her son's life.

What a beautiful way to make someone's day.  This touching, sincere, and heartfelt letter certainly made MY day.

The letter I received took a tremendous amount of effort, both to write and to showcase this young man's life in pictures.  I recognize that, and, yes,  I will be sending a "thank you" for this "thank you." 

In everyday life, appreciation does not have to be so time consuming.  A pat on the back, a firm handshake, a verbal "thank you", an unexpected treat like a coffee and a donut, a quick email, or even a post-it note thank you would all be appreciated. Somehow, a few words of praise motivate people to give their best.  I learned that while teaching in the classroom for 37 years and coaching for 33 years.  

Here is a great quote to follow in life:  "Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret." Mary Kay Ash

I APPRECIATE all of you who read my blog and support my efforts as a fledgling writer. Thank you so much for your time and encouragement.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

 Rittman Publishing, LLC ®


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Visit Dede's website for information on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER  

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