The Deepest Principle in Human Nature is the Craving to be Appreciated

At the tail end of my trip last week, I stopped in Charleston, SC. While there, I was happy to enjoy some of the local cuisine, along with the sights and sounds, but I was also pretty excited to watch the Golden Globes. I always like to watch the award shows when I’ve seen most of the movies. Having seen a number of the movies that were nominated this year (Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Django Unchained, Argo, etc.), I was really excited. It feels like I’m more connected to the awards, somehow.

After watching the show, I couldn’t help but reflect on society at large. In particular, I thought about the lack of appreciation we show each other. That is, how many more award shows are there? A few big ones come to mind: the Oscars, the Grammys, the AMAs, the CMAs, the VMAs, the Golden Globes, the Emmys, the Tonys… and from there I struggle to think of many award shows that are on as large a scale. Of course, we could include the sports awards ceremonies, too — so the ESPYs and the NHL awards. And some folks might argue for the All-Star games.

This might be strange coming from a Canadian. In Canada, after you win an award, the culture dictates that you go and put it in your bag, so you don’t make anyone feel bad for not winning. In the US, however, that’s not the case. Nonetheless, it still feels like the US (and the world?) could do with some more appreciating of each other.


Did you ever conduct a science experiment when you were in grade school about some sort of vegetable growing better to classical music? That stuff really works. Did you know that most vegetables/fruits are made up of water? And did you know… that most of the human body is made up of water? Can you see where I’m going with this. The words we use to communicate with each other matter. If something as simple as classical music can help vegetables grow, don’t you think that words of appreciation will be greatly beneficial to the people around you?


So, while I won’t be organizing an awards show anytime soon, there are still ways that I can be appreciative of the people around me and in my environment. For instance, whenever I ride the bus, I almost always thank the driver upon de-bussing. Do you? How about if someone holds the door open for you — do you say thank you? Do you hold the door open for other people? If you take the time to look, I’m sure you’ll find that there are infinite opportunities for you to show your appreciation.

Note: The title of this post comes courtesy a quote from William James.

Published by Jeremiah Stanghini

Jeremiah's primary aim is to provide readers with a new perspective. In the same vein as the "Blind Men and the Elephant," it can be difficult to know when one is looking at the big picture or if one is simply looking at a 'tusk' or a 'leg.' He writes on a variety of topics: psychology, business, science, entertainment, politics, history, etc.

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