The other day I said "I appreciate what you do" to someone. As I walked away, it got me thinking. Do I appreciate what they do? Or who they are? There is a difference.
Some people I don't know, so I do appreciate what they do.... but with other people...those whom I've gotten to know...I should appreciate THEM, not JUST what they do.
If I just appreciate the actions, I can take the person for granted. "But it's their job." That doesn't mean I shouldn't appreciate the person. When I only see the job, the person becomes invisible. The more I try to get to know the people around me, the more I appreciate what they do and who they are. The more I get to know the people around me, my life is enriched.
For example, I live in an apartment building, so there are many who keep the complex up and running. Living here 16 years, the owners have changed, and so has the staff. But as I get to know the individuals, I appreciate what they do, even more. By taking a few minutes to talk with the person, I learn about their vacations (that sure helps me not complain when something isn't done that week...they are gone!). I learn about the fun things they do, their struggles, and when they get hurt. As I talk with them, I learn to appreciate the person, not just when they complete their job.
If I am only grateful for what people do for me, I can become very selfish. I expect so and so to do "ABC" for me. Rather than thinking of the person doing the job, I think of only what's in it for me. That's not only just wrong... it's being very ungrateful. We all like it when people like our work, but we like it even more when people appreciate US.
I hope as I go about my life, I'll take a moment to SEE the people who do things around me, and get to KNOW each individual. Yes, I'll still appreciate what they do..... but even more WHO they are.
Each day, we meet a variety of people: a deliver person, the clerk at the coffee shop, a co-worker, a garage mechanic, doctors, the list continues. To honestly create a positive day, I must reach out to those people and share a smile and kind word. At first, it may be about their work..but as I see that person every day, appreciating them....will make the day a very positive one—for both of us!