Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Day I Talk About Appreciation

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We never truly understand what loss means until the ones closest to us leave abruptly.

On Thursday, we celebrated the Commando 38th Anniversary. In the opening speech by Col. Lam, he told everybody present to observe a minute of silence for one of the five deceased dragon boaters who was a former officer of the formation. It was a long, morose five minutes and that got me thinking: must there be a tragedy before we slow down from whatever we're doing to appreciate those around us?

More often than not, our lives revolve around trying to fulfill our physical needs so much so that we tend to neglect the nourishment of our relationships with others by the form of appreciation. How many times have we actually told the ones who are close to us just how much they mean in our lives? How often do we show our appreciation and acknowledge their existence? Are we so blinded by our obsession with rising vertically in life that we pay no heed to our stagnant horizontal interpersonal development?

I'm sure that we are all guilty of certain forms of neglect for those around us. We constantly take people for granted with the mentality that "we can always talk some other day". But some times that "other day" just doesn't come, and it'll be too late for regret by then. Completing tasks, performing well at work, striving for our personal goals etc can only get us so far in life. At the end of the day, what matters most are the people who've touched you and whom you've touched.

It's not too late to start appreciating now.

When you get home from work or school to the warmth of your home, with mummy's home-cooked meal waiting impatiently for you on the dining table, give her a hug and tell her how much you love her. When daddy makes an effort to crack a joke, no matter how lame it may be as Dad-Jokes are, put on a smile and appreciate his effort. Cherish every moment that you can spend with the ones who matter to you.

I certainly don't wish to hear nice words about myself only at my wake. They would be empty and worthless by then.