I don’t know if it was the serious situation of friends dealing with the possible devastation to come because of the forecast of extreme local flooding, or what the Haitian people are going through, but a wave of appreciation swept through me yesterday – appreciation for Roger.
Now, I regularly tell Rog I love him and am grateful for him and his being in my life. But appreciation feels different and, in hindsight, it seems that I don’t seem to verbally express that to Rog very often.
So what’s the difference between gratitude and appreciation?
Encarta states that gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness to somebody and comes from the Latin gratitudo which means “pleasing.” The Hebrew term for gratitude is hikarat hatov, which means, literally, “recognizing the good.” (http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/48906987.html). The latter definition resonates with me for my spiritual practice includes making gratitude my usual state of mind and a way of life.
Appreciation is defined as “a full understanding of the meaning and importance of something” (Encarta) and “sensitive awareness” (Merriam-Webster).
In an instant and without mindful analysis, yesterday’s appreciation wave imparted to me a full understanding of what Rog means to me at a conscious level and deeper. Wow!
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F. Kennedy