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Having Appreciation For Others Helps You Develop - Grasshopper

My hobby is photography. I find that the best photographs I take are of people, creatures and things I care about. You canít manufacture care but you can cultivate appreciation, which paves the way towards care.

Hereís a lesson I learned much later in my life: Everyone can contribute to you if you have appreciation for them.
Early on, dismissiveness was the norm for me. Like in my photography, I didnít consider getting closer to anyone or anything that didnít interest me, which left me less interesting because I lacked appreciation and didnít care.
Life, as well as photography, takes on a sameness when you lack the curiosity to explore appreciation.
Appreciation goes further than what another can do for you; it deepens your connection to them and the creative life force that infuses us all.
Everyone owns their own little corner of creativity and you can expose yourself to their version by getting closer.
I remember one of my teachers, Dr. Dave Dobson urging us to get closer to people who had patterns that we didnít like. His claim was that it would give us a finer appreciation of that person.
When you appreciate (notice I didnít say like) what another is offering, it gets you one step closer to caring about them. You find that they, like you, are struggling with something that causes them to act the way they do.
Everyone is a teacher; we just have to be willing to take their class. When we do, it gives us a finer appreciation of life and we start to see a much bigger picture.
Reminds me of a story . . .
Many years ago I took a photography class and one of our assignments was to go downtown and photograph things that didnít appeal to us. Students came back with pictures of overflowing garbage cans, homeless people, signs they didnít agree with, etc. I took a picture of a legless man in a wheelchair. It scared me.
Before that day, I would have passed this person on the street and pretended he didnít exist. That assignment changed the way I interacted with things that frightened me. I began getting closer to them and as a result gained a finer appreciation for slices of life that I would have ignored. I learned to care more that day.
Caring more about something or someone begins with taking the time to appreciate that they have something to offer - something you would have missed if you only focused on the things you care about.
All the best,
John
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