It's The Little Things: Why We Need To Dig Deeper To Truly Appreciate One Another

Ever since I was a young girl, I have found it difficult to accept compliments. It’s not so much rooted in personal insecurity, as it is that I have simply never felt as if I earned the things on which I was complimented.

Yes, I had caramel-colored thick locks of hair when I was a toddler, but it wasn’t as if I chose those. Yes, I agree that the floral dress I flounced around in was absolutely adorable, but it wasn’t as if I actually designed it. Yes, my ability to remember random facts off the top of my head have proved to be helpful, but it was a natural ability with which I suppose I was just born.

It upsets me when someone gets credit for something that is undeserved. It upsets me even further when someone doesn’t get recognition for something on which they worked.

I think that I, like most other people, constantly make the effort to better myself. I consciously make an effort to exude a sense of calmness and togetherness that contradicts the nearly crippling anxiety that sometimes plagues me.

I work hard to be someone who is dependable and reliable, someone who will not leave your side if you ask me to stay. I make an effort to pick up the positivity around me and channel it into a source of happiness that can affect and inspire other people, too.

Of course, my efforts sometimes fall short. It’s easy to slip away from being the person you want to be. However, in trying to do our best to get by, we must focus on the things we can control and things we can do better.

Every person has projects on which he or she works — whatever it may be. These are the things we ought to praise each other for. These are the things we ought to call attention and recognition to.

Maybe there’s someone you know who’s been studying harder than usual to pass an upcoming exam. Maybe your best friend recently picked up yoga in an effort release stress. Maybe someone you love recently started medication to improve and better his or her mental health. Accomplishments like these are often overlooked.

How often does the struggling, unemployed adult get recognition for putting on a nice outfit and going to a job interview when he or she knows the odds of getting the job are slim to none?

How often does the broken-hearted girl get praise for looking the boy who broke her heart in the eye and smiling when she passes him? How often does that person mourning a death get cheered on for simply getting out of bed in the morning? The answer to all of these is, simply, not often enough.

We’re all fighters; you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t. You do something every day that contributes to your fight to continue walking this earth. You are your own living proof that you haven’t, and won’t, give up.

So, in case you don’t hear it today, this week, for a while or forever, I’m proud of you. You’re brave, your efforts are valiant and admirable, and I respect you for all that you do. It’s the little things and the things we often let go unnoticed that are the most important to pay mind to.

If my eyes are particularly bright and green on any given day, don’t compliment me on their color. Compliment me on the way they light up when I laugh while telling a story about someone I love. Compliment me on the struggles I’ve overcome. Compliment me on growing more into the person I want to become.

I try every day to be less tough and to be gentler, less angry and more loving. We’re all working toward something. It’s about time we start congratulating each other on the bravery the journey necessitates rather than just the successes along the way.

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