What do you appreciate most? Perhaps it’s not something you have asked yourself recently. Or ever. I expect there are plenty of things you appreciate, like a good meal, watching or taking part in wonderful sport, seeing a great movie, reading a terrific book. To be able to enjoy is special. It is probably my rural and farming background that enables me to enjoy the greenery of Singapore so much. You may have a different appreciation of where you live.

Whatever you appreciate makes your life worthwhile.

To continue appreciating what you enjoyed after the event itself is mind blowing. All of life is memorable if you make it so. No life is credible if you don’t. But what if you have never had the opportunity to do interesting things? Can you make the seemingly boring things you have to do become interesting? You certainly can. 

Everything that touches your life is a story waiting to be recognised, crafted, told, embraced, hugged and savoured. Just like good food, words, music, talk, looks, learning, inquiry, interest, understanding – in fact anything that we do to turn what is happening to us into something of value and worth is making living a joy. Which is what it ought to be.

You do not have to be a carpenter to carve beautiful objects.

Covid was a nasty jolt to the world. It taught us a few things, however. For example, it made us aware that happiness is a highly desirable and totally acceptable objective. It taught us to value our senses more than perhaps we have in the past.  We certainly learnt that being near other people is a privilege and a necessity if we are to understand each other.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is teaching us a whole lot more – and hourly, as it happens. To harness this tech resource that might so easily be feared to be a threat, is as gratifying as breaking in a horse for riding. To see the stunning pictures of wildlife that a friend captures at the Nature Reserve, to watch a Wild Rice theatre production, to hear the Singapore Symphony Orchestra play the finest music on the planet, to use Google and Wiki to explain an issue we have never quite fathomed, all these demonstrate our appreciation of the huge range of gifts we have, even in our turbulent and uncertain world.

These are big things, not available to all. There are myriads of smaller matters that can be seen if only we will look and listen. Robert Bruce was imprisoned in the 14th Century. He saw a spider trying to climb the wall of his cell. The spider repeatedly fell back, picked itself up and started the climb again. Robert Bruce wrote “Whether doing, suffering or forbearing, you may do miracles by persevering”. Something immortal from a spider’s struggle.

To appreciate we only need to observe and think. How much of what comes within your range of vision do you really see? Of the things you see, how many make you ask a question about their meaning, their use, their origin, their future? When you hear or read some beautiful words or music how much do you translate it into visions of equally enchanting views or ideas?

The more we know, the more we notice. This is an age of universal knowledge.

The more we appreciate it the greater our lives will be.

Appreciation is the fulfilment of a life.

Good morning

John Bittleston 

Rather than respond to this please appreciate one thing you have not appreciated before.

The quiet you get from doing so will be the best response we could have.

02 May 2023