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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Simple Truths of Appreciation by Barbara Glanz

By Barbara Glanz

One of the deepest principles of human nature is the craving to be appreciated. You never know when a few kind words can change a life forever.

In her book, The Simple Truths of Appreciation, Barbara Glanz tells a story about the power of appreciation.

Excerpt from The Simple Truths of Appreciation by Barbara Glanz

When I speak about appreciation, I use this quote by Albert Schweitzer:
"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light."

Then I ask my audiences to please shut their eyes and think about someone, who at some time in their lives, has rekindled their inner light. I leave the room in silence for several minutes, and it is always a profound experience as they remember the joy they received from being appreciated by someone when they needed it the most.

Afterwards I ask them to write down the name of the person they thought of and to commit to their own act of appreciation by letting that person know in the next 72 hours that he or she was thought of. I suggest a phone call, a note, or even a little prayer if they are no longer living.
After one moving session, a gentleman came up to talk with me and thanked me for creating a new awareness in him. He said he thought of his eighth grade literature teacher because she was everyone's favorite teacher, and had really made a difference in all of their lives. He planned to track his teacher down, and when he finally found her, he wrote to her.

The following week he received this letter:

Dear John,
You will never know how much your letter meant to me. I am 83 years old, and I am living all alone in one room. My friends are all gone. My family's gone. I taught 50 years and yours is the first "thank you" letter I have ever gotten from a student. Sometimes I wonder what I did with my life. I will read and reread your letter until the day I die.

He just sobbed on the phone. He said, "She is always the one we talk about at every reunion. She was everyone's favorite teacher - we loved her!" But no one had ever told her...until she received his letter.

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