“The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.”
Appreciation was the idea that Chesterton gave his whole life to. He also lived by, rather famously, this mantra: “Nothing taken for granted; everything accepted with gratitude; everything passed on with grace.” The idea being, everything could be appreciated — the handling of all of life’s spoils and tangles.
It’s a difficult skill to master, simply because it’s propagated from a heart that must feel appreciative.
Given that most of our actions of appreciation — these days — commence, are fulfilled in, or finish via our spoken or written words, suddenly it’s not such an encouraging thought!
Notwithstanding, we’re highly capable of it.
No Sense In Not Appreciating
The appreciative life is the simple life, for small things that are of only fleeting concern receive their due focus; yet, in reality, they receive hardly anything at all.
Think about the things we spend most of our thought on.
They’re likely to be negatively-set, due our discretionary minds wanting them ‘adjusted’ to our liking. Too much of our thinking tends this way, to the arbitrary delights of our personalities. We, by nature, are fickle — all have their nuances.
But this way — left unchallenged — is adding little real value to life.
Alternatively, there is a great sense of appreciation adding value, even slightly. Appreciation doesn’t get in the way and it’ll send objects ever more fervently with the flow. It is lovingly done.
Not appreciating things carries threats with it, like the critical spirit. Few people enjoy the bringer of bad news, unless it’s the truth; and the truth abides strongly with appreciation.
‘More’ Is Not More
The materialistic phenomenon of life is, the more we have the less we appreciate it.
It’s hard to resist the thrust of this truth. We only have certain cognitive and affective room within ourselves; we can absorb only so much. More is not more. The more we have, the more our cares, the less we have to spread around.
The skill of appreciating things is hence the prudence of leaving well enough alone.
It’s about knowing our fill, combining it all, making it go round, unto contentment.
This level of appreciation, contending for contentment against the grappling spirit of acquisition, is the heart-song of peace.
And peace is a prize for the spiritual person on good terms with their God — the Lord of all. Such a prize comes commensurate for love; the mind turned toward love, the heart committed to it, evermore.
It beckons us; appreciate someone or something today.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.