Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Deeper Appreciation

Day 51 (Wednesday 20th January 2016)
51 percent of live TV is watched live. Betraying my age, when I grew up we all watched the
same programmes at the same time (or missed seeing them). Live television viewing was at 81%
in 2008, according to research by NBC Universal, but increasingly people now view TV via
streaming on demand at a time when it suits them - digital broadband is rapidly changing our lives.
Today, the Advent Blogs and Post Advent Blogs series come to an end, and what better way to end than with a post based on appreciation? I am so grateful to all of the wonderful writers who submitted pieces for this year's series. What a breadth of topics have been covered under a theme that many found difficult to tackle. The pondering and effort has paid off - I think that this year has been the best yet. Thank You! I will provide a more detailed breakdown of themes and views later this month.

David Goddin is the author of today's excellent piece. Having initially met David via social media (his Twitter handle is @ChangeContinuum), I have worked with him on a number of occasions and it comes as no surprise to me that he has written an encouraging, celebratory piece about what makes people great. David has a talent for making people see things in a constructive light and for enabling people to achieve more than they believe they are capable of. David is the founder and Managing Director a Change Continuum, a specialist consultancy that focuses on business performance and enabling positive change for both individuals and the organisations in which they work. He is a wonderful husband and father and lives with his wife and two sons in Norfolk.


In thinking of both “Comet Tails and Coal Dust”, I’ve been struck by how culturally each seems often to be seen in a singular view. There are deeper meanings beyond that are perhaps commonly missed... appreciation that is the understanding of the worth, quality or importance... appreciation of that full awareness or understanding.

Comet Tails”. Our immediate appreciation is perhaps for the existence of a comet, its apparent beauty and perhaps connections and time beyond our own mortal reach. I wonder if we appreciate that the decay of the comet is what creates its tail? I wonder if we appreciate that it is only through the comet's long slow, and perhaps lonely death that we may see a comet's tail pass us by for a time?

Comet Lulin
Coal Dust”. Dirty, useless remnants to be discarded perhaps. I wonder if we appreciate the 300 million year journey that brought coal dust to us here today? I wonder if we appreciate that its existence at all is a sign of the value we’ve obtained?

Appreciation is something we see written about quite frequently and it’s often beautifully given in the sense of gratitude. Appreciating what is good. Appreciating the help & support of others. Appreciation.

Yet, in the “Coal Dust” sense there is often little or no appreciation given to that which we perceive to be useless or troublesome. In the “Comet Tail” sense there can be appreciation but perhaps with some superficiality.
It’s naturally human behaviour. We can choose to take what value and appreciation that we find immediately useful to us. And I wonder if that’s enough?

We love the new, the shiny, the sexy, the appealing... often without an understanding of what sacrifice, trouble or consequence may lie behind.

1996 making of balls for Nike in Pakistan
We dismiss what we immediately see as useless and troublesome... often without understanding that it is a very limited and limiting lens that we look through.
Yet we can forgive the failings and failures of those nearest and dearest to us... We can catch those who need our help when they fall, without question... We can find abundance of friendship, love and support without asking. That appreciation is the deepest in every sense and we can all show it.

I think that capacity is where we are brilliant as humans. I think it also demands us to seek a deeper appreciation more often than we may be inclined to.

"What a Wonderful World" sung by Louis Armstrong

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