Appreciation is seeing the good in life. It is recognizing the gifts that come our way and showing gratitude for them. When we express appreciation to others, we mirror the virtues we see in them. We perceive their positive intentions and honor them with our gratitude. Love thrives on appreciation. Intimacy grows deeper when we know we are seen and valued. As we do the spiritual work life calls us to do, it is important to appreciate our efforts and acknowledge our progress. We don’t dwell on the unpleasant things in life. We value the learning even in the painful times. Drinking deeply in the beauty and pleasures life offers, we don’t waste a single day.

In Family Life

Appreciation within a family flourishes as every member consistently and sincerely acknowledges the significance of one another’s presence and actions. This virtue is woven into the fabric of daily interactions through words and actions that convey gratitude and respect. It’s the warmth in a child’s “good morning” to their parents, the recognition of a partner’s hard work after a long day, and the shared joy in celebrating each family member’s accomplishments.

Appreciation fosters an environment where everyone feels seen and valued. Active listening and valuing differing perspectives demonstrate family members’ appreciation for each other. Family traditions, whether a weekly meal or an annual vacation, are opportunities to express gratitude for shared experiences. Ultimately, this virtue forms the foundation of strong familial bonds, cultivating an atmosphere of positivity and love that persists through life’s highs and lows.


For what has been, thanks! For what shall be _ yes!

— Dag Hammerskjold

 The Practice of Appreciation

  • I look for the good in life and in people.
  • I freely express gratitude and appreciation.
  • I honor my own progress.
  • I value the gifts in my tests.
  • I don’t allow myself to stay down and disappointed.
  • I enjoy all that life has to offer.
  • I feel grateful for the bounty of my life.

Balancing Appreciation

To maintain a healthy balance of appreciation, several virtues come to our aid:

      • Wisdom: Wisdom reminds us that life is a complex blend of joys and challenges. It encourages us to appreciate the beauty while acknowledging the imperfections. Wisdom allows us to discern when to express gratitude and when to address issues head-on.
      • Courage: Courage enables us to confront difficulties without fear and to appreciate the strength that arises from overcoming them. It encourages us to acknowledge life’s darker moments while embracing brighter ones.
      • Humility: Humility tempers excessive appreciation by grounding us in the awareness of our limitations. It reminds us that we are not infallible and that our understanding of the world is incomplete. Humility keeps us from becoming arrogant or self-righteous in our optimism.
      • Compassion: Compassion teaches us to appreciate not only the beauty in life but also the struggles of others. It fosters empathy and reminds us to extend our gratitude and support to those facing challenges we cannot fully comprehend.

Appreciation is a virtue that brings immense richness to our lives when appropriately balanced. We can maintain a healthy appreciation for the world around us by cultivating wisdom, courage, humility, and compassion. In doing so, we enhance our relationships, enrich our experiences, and navigate the journey of life with grace and authenticity.