Chapter 8: Appreciate the values of life
“Treat others the way you would like them to treat you…” – Matthew
The meaning of appreciating life
a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for humanitarian activism,
one of the greatest figures ever,
a man who ranks with Socrates, Lincoln,
Gandhi and Mother Teresa
– was struggled for many years
for the formation of a basic philosophy,
which is “Meaning of showing appreciation for the values of life”.
That means life is sacred in itself,
and it is our duty to love it.
Schweitzer realizes that
too many people live to the end of their lives
without ever knowing the meaning and value of life.
According to Schweitzer,
life always offers wonderful gifts that
we should cherish and preserve,
which is expressed through love for life
and gratitude for the following:
* Our life itself.
* People around us.
* The natural beauty of nature,
* The secrets of life that we will gradually discover,
feel and understand.
* Our own honesty and integrity in all things.
Schweitzer’s philosophy is the foundation that
“People who truly want a happy life believe and aim for.
They accept what life brings,
they appreciate it and see it as a gift that life gives them.”
The Four Elements of Respect
As I said,
the rules that I share with you are nothing new or mysterious.
We have existed for a long time,
familiar and their value
and meaning to us is great,
not old with time.
It’s just that sometimes we forget or
accidentally don’t notice,
Today, we only think about ourselves,
only worry about our own problems,
but forget to show care
and share to those around us
– which is still considered normal.
No matter what,
showing mutual care and appreciation
for life is always the first factor
to bring about a good life.
“If we don’t figure out how to behave properly,
our lives will become dry and unhuman.” – George Bernard Shaw
We can treat each other with courtesy,
care and respect…
but whatever name we call it,
the way we behave will tell who we are.
And how we treat others will be the key to our success.
A long time ago,
a British statesman said:
“How we treat each other is more important than how we behave
by the rules we make.”
In other words,
if we all knew how to show respect to others,
there would be no need for laws to correct our conduct.
Life is better when we know how to treat each other with respect.
Public relations expert Henry C. Rogers,
in his 1984 commentary on manners, said:
“If manners were an animal,
it would be a dangerous animal.”
Rogers’ comment is a warning bell about the sad reality of today.
“I can’t understand how people don’t realize that
good manners are one of the most important keys to success,” he said.
This is completely different from apathy.
It is completely wrong for some people
to purposely impress others
by appearing indifferent.
The simple thing that many people don’t realize is this:
The best way to impress others is to treat them the way
we would expect them to treat us,
which is respect.
The world is better,
we are better people and feel more at peace
when we have good manners.
“A person’s words always show what is treasured in his heart.” – Luke 6:45
It’s impossible to hide who we are.
Our words will ultimately reveal what is in our hearts
and our true thoughts.
Every time we open our mouth
we say something about ourselves,
but we don’t always realize it.
The wise man Solomon wrote thousands of years ago:
Wise people speak only polite words,
smarts and fools are harmed by their own words.
All of us should be wise to examine our words
because it is our words that reflect
and reveal to others what is inside us.
When I taught communication courses,
in both high school and college,
I ran a very simple but very effective activity.
I asked each group of students to name ways
we could communicate verbally,
and divided those ways into positive
and negative categories.
They are usually arranged as below:
|Praise the truth
|Criticize, curse bitterly
|Believe, have faith
|Grumpy, scolding, angry
|Advice and guidance
|Pretentious, flatter, flatter
|Share the good news
|Help each other
Then I asked:
“Which one do you hear the most”?
Unfortunately the answer is always the same.
They hear more negative things than positive things.
Most of them also admit that their own mouth emits more negative things
than positive things.
Just for the same reason:
We have a habit of only looking at the dark side of things in life.
It took me a long time to understand the importance of polite,
As I began to improve myself,
I began to notice that the person
I admired the most so far always used positive
and pleasant words.
Good and understanding people are sensitive
enough to choose their words carefully.
3. Respect the rules
“When each of us personally adheres
to our commitments and regulations,
it directs us to an attitude of behavior for the happiness
of ourselves and those around us;
In a broader sense,
we are indirectly helping to advance the pursuit
of happiness for society.” – Aristotle
for a minute,
what a professional football game would be like without the rules.
Or there are rules of the game that only one of the two teams obeys.
How would you feel if your team followed the rules
and the opponent didn’t?
Bad play? Rough? Cheat?
We have laws and regulations to establish a sense of fairness.
The textbook I used to teach before defines law
and law as “regulations of human relations”.
The only real reason we need rules is
to help us care for each other.
After a presentation I gave a few years ago,
a woman said to me:
“I like everything you say except the part about following the rules.”
I asked what made her dislike following the law.
We have too many regulations,
themselves are the limitation.
She added that they have nothing to do with success.
I asked her,
if we played tennis together,
If would you like me to respect the rules of the game;
if you put money in the bank,
do you want the bankers to comply with the law,
keep and pay you on time and on demand;
if you are driving,
do you want other drivers to obey the traffic rules…
My point is,
obeying social rules means showing care and
respecting the rights of others.
It is a concrete form of honesty.
What do we call people who don’t follow the rules?
I often hear:
“laws are made to be broken”
and “people are still breaking them”.
That is just the statement of a thoughtless person
who is defending liberalism,
Respecting the law is not something that
needs to be calculated or avoided.
It shows how much we care about others.
Obeying the rules means we want to behave nice,
It also means that our lives will be more serene and peaceful.
And the last is certainly related to success.
People who are successful in life are often the ones
who show respect to those around them,
with social regulations.
4. Know appreciated the differenties
“You will never fully understand the meaning of life
if we still think that each of us individually is the most important,
the center of the universe.” – Thomas Merton
Why do most people often judge others?
The answer is simple but not easily accepted.
Because we all turn to ourselves.
We are too self-centered
and very often get confused
between our limited perception and reality.
Most of the times we criticize others just
because they do different things to us.
What we are actually saying is:
“You are not approved because you are not like me”.
I’ve heard people insult each other outright
when discussing trivial things about rock bands
or other matters.
“How do you think you like that group”?
That’s what both of them were thinking as they argued.
In other words,
“Only what I like is good”.
Overcoming pride and a narrow outlook on life is a sign of true maturity
Then, we begin to evaluate others more holistically.
Despite our differences in beliefs,
we need to realize that
we all often have two things in common.
Our lives are the result of our genetics,
upbringing and life experiences.
No one’s life is perfect and right” all.
The more we learn to accept and appreciate the differences
and uniqueness of others,
the more we will appreciate life.
The effect of respect
When we were children,
adults taught us to behave well,
to be honest,
and to show respect to others,
especially the elderly.
If we don’t,
we may be beaten or scolded.
Showing respect is something we “must” do.
What I want to emphasize here is not the terrible things that
It will happen to you
if you are not polite,
but the valuable rewards of the respect you show:
* We develop effective social skills and practices.
* We make others feel good.
* We win the affection and respect of others.
* We have established good relations.
* We are treated better by others.
* We improve our sense of self-worth.
* We built a solid reputation.
“What goes around comes around”.
More than anything else,
respect always reaps bountiful harvests in life.
What we give,
will certainly find its way back.
The golden rule
– treating others as we would expect them to treat us
– remains our best advice on human relations.
“Success in life is always proportional to the level of concern
we show for others.” – Earl Nightingale