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Redirecting focus towards positivity

Redirecting focus towards positivity
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By: Aubaid Ahmad Akhoon

Marcel Proust, a French novelist, critic, and essayist, is best known for his seven-volume novel, “In Search of Lost Time” (also known as “Remembrance of Things Past” or “À la recherche du temps perdu”).

He once said, “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” This quote highlights the importance of appreciating those who bring joy and positivity into our lives.

In a world often marred by criticism and negativity, it is crucial for us to redirect our focus towards highlighting the positive changes and celebrating the successes we witness. Irrespective of our diverse faiths and beliefs, we can collectively work towards fostering an environment of appreciation, understanding, and collaboration.

By recognizing and cherishing the accomplishments, both big and small, we inspire and fuel the progress of individuals and organizations. In this article, we explore the significance of appreciation in various faiths and how it can cultivate a harmonious and constructive environment for all.

The Power of Appreciation: Appreciation is an extraordinary catalyst that ignites the fire of progress within individuals and organizations. It is a fundamental human need to feel valued and acknowledged for our efforts. Across different faiths, appreciation is not only encouraged but also deeply rooted in spiritual teachings. Whether it is expressing gratitude to the divine, appreciating the interconnectedness of all creation, or recognizing the contributions of fellow human beings, faith traditions emphasize the importance of fostering a positive and constructive mindset.

In Christianity, gratitude and appreciation are integral aspects of spiritual growth. The Bible teaches believers to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and encourages a heart of thanksgiving as a means to honor God and uplift one’s own spirit. By celebrating God’s blessings and recognizing the positive changes in our lives, we cultivate an environment of hope and encouragement.

Similarly, in Islam, gratitude (shukr) plays a pivotal role. Muslims are encouraged to appreciate the blessings bestowed upon them by Allah and express gratitude through prayer and acts of kindness. By acknowledging the good in others and celebrating their achievements, Muslims embrace a constructive mindset that strengthens relationships and nurtures a spirit of unity within the community.

In Hinduism, the concept of appreciation is closely tied to the idea of interconnectedness. The principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family) teaches Hindus to appreciate the diversity and contributions of all individuals. By celebrating each other’s successes and talents, Hindus foster an inclusive environment that promotes collaboration and mutual respect.

Buddhism teaches the practice of gratitude and appreciation as a means to cultivate inner peace and compassion. By expressing gratitude for the present moment and acknowledging the positive qualities in ourselves and others, Buddhists nurture a mindset of acceptance and kindness. This mindset encourages collaboration and the celebration of positive changes within the community.

Judaism emphasizes the importance of appreciation and recognition of others’ achievements. The concept of “Hakarat Hatov” encourages Jews to express gratitude and acknowledge the goodness in others. By celebrating successes and offering words of appreciation, Jewish communities promote a culture of encouragement and support.

Tailpiece: let us reflect on the profound wisdom shared by Melody Beattie, an acclaimed American author and self-help advocate renowned for her work in codependency and personal growth. Beattie eloquently reminds us that “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity… It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.” These transformative words serve as a powerful reminder of the universal nature of gratitude.

Regardless of our individual faiths and beliefs, the power of appreciation transcends religious boundaries. By shifting our focus towards celebrating positive changes, we create a collective mindset that fosters innovation, collaboration, and growth. Drawing inspiration from the teachings of various faiths, we can learn to express gratitude, acknowledge the efforts of others, and cultivate a positive and constructive environment.

Let us embrace appreciation as the fuel for progress, inspiring one another and working together to make a positive difference in the world. By celebrating both the big and small victories along the way, we can collectively create a harmonious and constructive environment that transcends divisions and fosters unity. Together, let us cherish the power of gratitude and pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.

(The author is a Motivational Speaker and an Educationist)

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