I help manage a soup kitchen and serve once a week. Before each meal, one of the patrons blesses the food and says a karakia (Maori prayer). I was so moved by the prayer a lady said this time:
‘Dear God, thank you for this meal and for those who have prepared it… please bless those that are less fortunate than ourselves‘.
It really made me think; because a lady living in poverty and struggling with day-to-day living asked for those less fortunate than her to be protected. So for this week, I decided to learn more about appreciation.
What I discovered
Appreciation is defined as the recognition and enjoyment of good qualities of someone or something. And there has been some interesting research conducted around appreciation and gratitude which has found that people practicing gratitude are happier and less stressed. This website listed scientifically-proven strategies for learning how to appreciate what you have and stop wanting more: http://www.happify.com/hd/how-to-appreciate-what-you-have/, which included getting to know someone who does not have what you have, and giving to others.
I made a donation to the New Zealand ‘Make A Wish Foundation’ (www.makeawish.org.nz), who work to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The charity is based on the desire to enrich the child’s life with with hope, strength and joy. This was my action because I realise how lucky I have been my entire life so far – I have had some pretty amazing experiences and done some really awesome things, and I’d love to help enable someone else to also have a wonderful experience that is meaningful to them.