Having been a part of a large extended family and being a part of a big but close-knit church, I have attended a lot of funerals. Each time I attend a funeral, I hear about how wonderful the person who has left us has been. Each time, I remember thinking to myself, Wouldn’t the person have loved to hear the wonderful things being said about him? Then I also asked myself, Did the person know how wonderful he was while he was still alive? Or do we reserve the praise for the funerals, after the person has already left us?

After a while, I decided that I would make it a point to appreciate people around me while they (and I) were still around. There is no flattery and surely no intention of gaining anything, but if I liked something about someone, I would tell him or her in person.

Words of affirmation (Latin: Verba Affirmationis) can make a person’s day, lift his spirits, or at the very least bring him a momentary smile. Well, it made me feel good too, and after those few words, the person was nicer to me. My life became more smooth, at least during my interactions with people around me.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Dr. Maya Angelou

So it is a win-win for everyone, so I encourage you to go on, tell your wife she looks beautiful today, tell your child you are proud of her, tell your colleague the work he did yesterday was awesome and that you are learning a lot from him, and do tell your Mom and Dad that you appreciate everything they have done for you. Life is short and unpredictable; let us celebrate the wonderful people and things around us. It doesn’t cost you a paisa. For those of you wondering what that is, it is something that was worthless before the rupee became worthless. And I wish I were as young as you.

Well, humans are fallible, especially my kind, and so I tried to ask the man of the hour, Hon. Shri. ChatGPT, about what he thought of appreciation and words of affirmation. This is what he said: “Appreciation is like a magic wand; just wave it and watch people turn into happy unicorns!

Now if you would like to write to me about how you found this article life-changing and “absolutely wow! , or about how you are highly impressed with my knowledge of Latin (about 8 words in total), you can send fan mail to joeheflin@gmail.com. Or you can send me a message on WhatsApp at +393408636977.7.

Have a lovely day.


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