Why do we take people for granted?
A question I’ve been wondering about recently. We seem to fall into this vicious cycle of losing someone, vowing to appreciate our loved ones, forgetting that vow, losing that person, and on and on and on. But why?
I don’t believe that it’s a human flaw. I believe appreciating the people around us is a cultivated habit and most of us have just not learned it properly.
Here are four things we can do to break that cycle and teach ourselves to appreciate:
1. Break arrogance: Learn to say sorry, stop holding grudges, stop building walls to keep people out. These things will carve out our egos.
2. Learn to trust: Be brave enough to give people second chances and trust people with your appreciation. Don’t do it to gain their appreciation, do it for yourself. And if they drop the ball, pick it up and show them more appreciation for being human.
3. Balance in everything: Showing someone you care does not mean allowing that person to trample all over your life. Find your balance. Avoid excessiveness, give compassion, strive for excellence. Balance is a reciprocal and reiterative process.
4. Nurture hope: Find the strength within you to push yourself towards continuous compassion and appreciation in order that your own spirit may grow.
But why bother? Learning the habit of being appreciative and compassionate is hard work and, fair warning, will almost never be recognized. So what is it all for?
It’s always been about love and it always will be about love. True, capital letter, Love. To know the Love, to show the Love, to share the Love. It is a process. A long and difficult and daily process to not only feel that true Love within you for another, but to be able to transform that into true appreciation as well. Before it’s too late.
The good news is that it is very achievable. Let’s put in the effort and together we will learn to break the cycle of taking people for granted and we will create habits of Love instead.
Souzan Mansour is currently a postgraduate student in London, England in the field of social research. She is a citizen of this world, interested in humanity, travel and the things that make this world go around.