Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Breezes of Appreciation

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Breezes of Appreciation

When one goes to a graveyard, he sees a lot many graves; some of them in good condition while some in very poor condition. Of these graves, there are some on the side of which there are placed beautiful stones usually made of marble. On these gravestones, usually name and position or other similar information about the dead persons is given. Along with these, there are mostly present some verses or lines that praise the person. In these lines, he is thanked by his children for being a good father or mother or by his fellows for being a good companion or things like these.

But in all these, one thing is for certain that his personal qualities are being highlighted, acclaimed and praised. But unfortunately, these good things happen when the person has died and he or she is in the grave and not in position to hear or read these favorable comments that could have boosted up his spirit had he been told in his life time.

When a person is living, we are really miser to praise him. A person may be having a lot many qualities but we never come to notice them. On the other hand, we keep busy in discovering the bad qualities of a person and do backbiting and criticism. Especially, in an illiterate society like ours, we have not been able to establish a culture of thanking the others or praising the good qualities of others. In educated societies, it is taken or regarded as one of the most important factors that establish healthy relationships among the people. Praising or appreciating needs to be done when there is an occasion for this, but it can also be done without any reason. It results in the intimacy and goodwill among the people and it promotes the integrity and unity in the society.

There is a story that some men came to meet the Holy Prophet (PBUH). When they entered the place, some other companions of Holy Prophet were already sitting who left the place so as to provide them with a chance to talk to the Holy Prophet. The newcomers said to the Prophet, "O' the Prophet of Allah! Although we don't know your companions, but they appear to us very good and kind and we feel a kind of love towards them in our heart". To this Holy Prophet inquired, "Have you told these to them as well?" They replied, "No, O' Holy Prophet. We have not revealed our love to them." Then Holy Prophet said, "Do hurry and tell them what you feel about them". So they quickly went and did so. As expected, in return, companions of Holy Prophet also expressed their good wishes. This is a very easy formula of generating, exchanging and promoting love and unity among the people.

It is not the case that we are absolutely void of any kind of love and good will towards each other or our hearts are absolutely empty from such kind of feelings. Rather, our folktales, folksongs and traditional stories are full of such events of praise and thankfulness but we have developed an artificial shield of rigidity that never lets us express our feelings to others. We feel shy or take it a bit difficult to do so.

When someone is appreciated or praised, it should be taken care that the process should be natural and there should not be exaggeration or useless boasting. Wheneverthere is an inauguration ceremony of a book, such artificial events can be witnessed a lot. Speakers stand up one by one, each praising the book and author, although some of them have not even opened the book or don't know the author personally. There, everyone feels that a formality is being followed and there is no sincerity behind these.

Unfortunately, we have been ruled by kings or rulers who have always had feelings of superiority. They could never sit with common people or pull down the curtain that separated them from the common people. They were never able to thank the others. When they could not do so, same kind of culture could not be started or promoted among the common people.

It is very necessary now to change the scenario and develop a kind of society where people should not hesitate in generously thanking and praising each other. I request all the teachers to teach this norm to the students along with all the good values that they transfer to their students. The best way to do this is to do and show it practically and not by advising the students to do so.

At times, especially in mornings, when we pass by the road, we see the sweepers busy in sweeping the road and streets and collecting the garbage. They do very important work and I really admire them from the core of my heart. First, they do a kind of work which we would not do willingly or, in case forced to do so, will do it reluctantly. Secondly, they keep our city and streets clean and help us keep our houses clean and this is not an easy job to be done. And more admiring is the fact that whenever we pass by them, they stop sweeping the road and wait for us to pass by so that dust of the road should not disturb us or ruin our clothing.

They are really great and big people comparing to us as they show their concern about our feelings. It is needed that we should stop for a while and thank them. And if this is too difficult for us, we can at least praise their effort by the gesture of our hand or the nod of the head. But unfortunately, some of us again show our hidden feeling of superiority when we come near to them. Some people cover their nose with their hands and this is a kind of act that shows the meanness of us. If dust was too much, we can at least stop inhaling for a while until we don't get away from there. In this way, we would not be hurting the feelings of those who collect our garbage and provide us with a clean environment.

Once, a person went with his friends to a mountainous area for trekking and sight-seeing. They came to a place where an old and hanging bridge connected two mountains. When they passed to other side of the bridge, the man turned back and thanked the bridge. He said that he found the bridge facilitating a lot of people and deserved more than thanking.

Kitchen is the place where our mothers or sisters prepare food for us thrice a day. It is usually hot, full of smoke and air is suffocating. When we go there even for a minute or two, we try to quickly finish our work and run out of it as it is a bit disturbing in it. But thanks to our mothers and sisters who pass many hours there, trying hard to prepare delicious foods to us. It is very necessary that we must thank them for their efforts after every meal as their job is not easy. Our mere words of appreciation and praise would wipe away all their tiredness and exhaustion.

Thanking others also makes us feel well. Whenever we praise others, we also receive such good words or reply in return which makes us feel better as well. I am sure, we would immediately start praising others and appreciating their good work and be the pioneers in bringing a positive change in the society.

Mohammad Rasool is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan and teaches English at Afghan-Turk School, Kabul. Email your suggestions and opinions at muhammadrasoolshah@gmail.com

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