The endless quest for a good word

By Ruth

We like praise. We love praise. We crave praise. I don’t care how humble you are, there is still a welling of pride that comes when others recognize the work of your hands.

It started as children when even the simplest drawing with a blunt crayon was hung on the refrigerator. Proudly beaming for days, we sulked when it finally had to come down. Something inside of us wants our efforts to be applauded.
"Look at me!"

Although we might coyly wave off words of admiration, we sneak a smile in when we are alone. Our inner human is stroked by the scratch of praise. It feels good to know that our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, that our duty isn’t performed in a vacuum.
"He finally noticed!"

It doesn’t have to be a parade. It doesn’t have to be a party. It just has to be a thank you, and satisfaction runs through your cells like flannel on a cold January night, warming the core.

Admittedly, the words of others affirm us. They measure our worth. They justify our value, and reinforce our sense of importance. Without these words, without any external appreciation of our contributions, some of us may wither or worse, finally rebel.

How many employees sink to the lowest common denominator, just clocking in because no one ever found the time to pass on a little appreciation?
"I keep giving and giving and no one seems to notice."

I struggle at times with this blog. It seems that others can type two sentences, and the comments just pour in. And here -- well, a tree falls in the forest. I don't mind. But then, I do.. Does anybody care?

But ask yourself this: Just how important is that validation? Is appreciation a prerequisite for giving your all? Or are we called to higher standard, performing to full capacity despite who notices?

Here are some tough questions:
• Could you work an entire career without ever being recognized?
• Can you live in an affirming relationship that is not reciprocal?
• Is it possible to always give and never expect thanks?



David Rupert is the Newsletter Editor at The High Calling. He also
blogs at"