Yes, we all are thirsty for praise! Only thing is some accept it gracefully; while others deny it forcefully. But, the fact remains that the engine that drives our every endeavour is this thirst for appreciation People thrive on compliments. Every living moment, we are eager to receive compliments from someone about something we have done. It is true that Lord Krishna has advised us to perform our Karma and not expect any fruits for our actions. Indeed, we may listen to Lord Krishna for the fruits part but when it comes to compromising the expectation of praise, we are in no mood to relent. We are not ready to give an iota of concession with regards to appreciation of our work. As soon as we finish our work, our eyes, our ears and all our sensory organs become thirsty for that wonderful drug of appreciative glances and accolades which we believe will wipe away all our accumulated stress and fatigue. But many a times, it so happens that our shyness prevents the accomplished work to be highlighted or advertised properly and then the result is that the concerned people fail to mouth their much wanted words of admiration. This wait for Godot (read -appreciation) drowns us into a sea of depression. Further, a humorous situation also arises when a person thirsty for praise, in his anxiety, imagines an oasis of appreciation! In his eagerness and haste, he misinterprets uttered statements thinking them to be eulogies of praise for his diligence. and gets further disappointed to comprehend that the uttered words were actually referred to some other individual. A smiling Emoji (face of the praise- thirsty person) is suddenly replaced by a sad emoji then! It is a very pathetic situation with which we all can definitely empathise! As all of us have experienced it many times but it is our guarded secret. (we don’t divulge such things)
But why is it that we are so much dying to hear those sweet paens sung to ourselves? Does it really boost our morale? Or, does it just feed our ego. Whatever the motive but the interminable wait for the unarticulated expressions of praise continues…
In fact, the world economy solely runs on this basic need of man to perceive sounds in realities which have been sounds only in our dreams. Now, don’t read with a quizzical expression on your face “What sounds?” Of course! Sounds of those magical words which were, are and will always be sweet music to our ears. Therefore, our decision ranging from buying the most expensive thing like a fancy house or a trendy car to as small a thing as a decorative hairpin is taken very cautiously. While taking these do or die decisions, our line of thoughts is driven by the lucrative, indulgent, admiring glances such bought booties would bring back to us. So Beware! A wrong decision taken here in a hurry can make us a relevant case- study material for Robert Frost’s poem- ‘A Road not taken’ in future. So, whenever, we are faced with a high voltage dilemma of choosing between two things which have won our hearts, then an analysis of which one out of the two would receive more admiration from our friends for being rare and beautiful is given advantage and bought. Some people also go to the extent of sidelining their own choices and buying things which are in fashion to win the approval of their friends and relatives.
The sounds of words of accolades for writing well, speaking well, presenting well, performing well and leading well are the expected fruits of all our activities that we painstakingly undertake. Amusingly, these words of appreciation are enshrined in our hearts as one of the core objectives of our activity. So when this core objective of receiving appreciations is not realised, then the other joyful incentives in the activity slowly fade away and finally it only remains a task to be done. A joyful activity becomes dull work! The person thus bruised is not enthused to undertake another activity. Tragically, he decides in a state of depression to relinquish any further activity as he feels that the showers of praises have dried up in his case.
Another interesting aspect observed in the domain of appreciation (received and accepted) is the persistent universal feeling that I am the unluckiest person in this world whose hard work is never recognised. This feeling returns back to the surface and gets augmented every time some other person receives endorsement for his work.
But then, there is another side to this story too: Are we ourselves as much alert about complimenting others for their achievements? Do we show the same amount of magnanimity of showering unadulterated praise on others which we expect from others for ourselves? This question should surely inspire us to peep inside and introspect.
Basically, generosity of spirit can work wonders in human relationships. A little word of praise, a small show of admiration, a concerned cognisance of the efforts undertaken by someone, appreciation of the achievements made by others, heartfelt congratulations and appropriate compliments can bring about miracles as it is a necessary lubricant for the smooth coordination between the different members of the society. So, let us pledge to become large- hearted and ignite a good -will chain. As we say: An apple a day keeps a doctor away; in the same way, we can henceforth say that a dose of appreciation a day can keep a psychologist away. (of –course, no need for psychologists to become insecure; as this will take time to implement)
Come on then, let us admit, we all are human-beings and along with our daily square meals, we do need a daily helping of appreciation too! The question Is-Can we oblige each other?