Daily Herald July 5, 1986
Many remember the days when all of the important messages were sent by telegram. Telegraph couriers on bicycles dashed from the telegraph offices to the business offices carrying information, which was crucial for business to be carried on.
APPREC-0-GRAMS are equally crucial if family and marriage life is to continue, and be carried on from year to year. People need honest and valid appreciations from others. They don't need to be conned, manipulated or smothered. They do need recognition and positive feed-back from other people. The more important someone is in your life, like your spouse, your children, your adult parents, your close friends, the more they need to get positive messages from you.
The greatest positive thought in the world is absolutely useless, if it remains trapped within someone's mind and doesn't get shared with the person for who it is intended. Some people find it difficult to put feelings into the spoken word. They may feel self-conscious or embarrassed. If that is how they are getting along in life, at that moment, that is okay, for that moment. But, it is important then for them to put down their positive feeling in writing.
Writing something down has many advantages. It allows you to re-write and re-write until you feel reasonably comfortable with what you want to say. You can write many versions and edit it as many times as you want until you get exactly what you want to say. Editing written material is easy. It is personal and private to you until you give it to someone else.
Once spoken, it is harder to edit what you have said, because you then have to deal with the other person's reaction to what you first said, whether it was exactly what you wanted to say or not.
The written word can be re-worked as often as you need to. As a writer myself, I know that the key to my writing is in my editing. If I published what I generally write down first, I would have difficulties on several counts. First, it would not be as good material as I know I can produce. It would not communicate my message as well as I can. Second, I would feel less confident about the material and this would show in my reactions to anything anyone said about it. Finally, it would be much more wordier than it needed to be. Someone might get tired of reading before they reached the point I was trying to make.
An APPREC-O-GRAM is a easy and useful way to release those positive thoughts which you may find difficult to express. It is also a way to remind yourself to express thoughts or feelings that you take for granted, not realizing it is important for them to be shared with the person they are about.
APPREC-O-GRAMneed not be long. Short expressions of appreciation are easy to accept and understand than are lengthy essays or compositions.
People need their appreciation in small doses. But they need them on a regular basis.
To send an APPREC-O-GRAM, take a piece of paper and fold it in three pieces. On the outside put the name of the person to whom you are sending it. On the inside write down briefly, one each of the following:
- A quality about them which you appreciate, such as a feature of their personality, or their skills of abilities.
- A specific deed or action, however little or minor, which they have done recently which you appreciated. (It need not have been done to or for you, but is something about which you are appreciative).
- A positive feeling, that you have towards them, as a person.
These three features may overlap a bit, but don't worry. Your goal is to write down three statements, which may or may not be related to each other.
Sending an APPREC-O-GRAM is a way of telling someone they are important. We all need to know we are important to certain people. Special and caring relationships are based on that very fact of mutual importance. APPREC-O-GRAMS are one simple but effective way of acting on that fact to improve and enhance your relationships with others.