Humans are among the most successful animals on Earth. We have transitioned from a few hundred thousand hunter-gatherers to billions of people spread across the planet.
However, we recognize in other animals that share our planet many of the same traits that we ourselves have. We see the loyalty of the dog. The tool-using cleverness of the crow. The playfulness of the dolphin. We see so much of ourselves in gorillas and chimpanzees that it suggested we have a common ancestor.
And yet, we seem quite different from any other animal. We have a manual dexterity that is uncommon. Our language is more highly developed than most. We learn about and manipulate our environment in ways that have transformed our lives completely.
There are many ways we can look at the animal kingdom, and draw comparisons or contrasts. Which ones do you find most compelling? Are we more like our animal cousins than we want to believe? Or are we somehow unique, for better or worse?
How are humans like other animals? How are they different?
Related questions: What do we have in common? How have we changed? Is it a cruel world?
To be underappreciated can be discouraging. You work hard to accomplish a particular goal, and very few people even notice. If anyone does at all.
There are many ways a person can be underappreciated. Your spouse might not appreciate what you do around the house. Children, since they are just learning, often do not appreciate their world, or what goes into it.
Your friends may not notice what you do to make life better. At work, a boss may not appreciate what you bring to your job or your team. Society at large can be indifferent to actions that an individual takes, however noble they might be.
You can even be underappreciated by yourself. People are often stronger than they give themselves credit for, or more competent or smarter than they realize.
Even if you don’t do kind or generous acts just to receive recognition or acknowledgement, it can be demoralizing to constantly be ignored or taken for granted. Everything you do shouldn’t need affirmation, but tasks can more easily be borne if you have some occasional words of encouragement.
It isn’t a good idea to always play the victim. On the other hand, it is important to recognize the good things you do, and to make sure others recognize them too. It is important to have healthy relationships, whether those relationships are with family members, co-workers, or your community.
What do you do that others don’t recognize? How are you underappreciated? How can you get others to better recognize things they aren’t currently seeing? Are there ways that you underappreciate others?
Related questions: Why do we put up with unhappiness? What does it mean to be thankful? When do you need inspiration? How can we appreciate life more?
Looking back on the previous year, which person played the biggest part? Who was, in your opinion, the most valuable?
Share why if you wish.
There are several ways to appreciate a person. People have many different ways that they can make a positive impact, either to an individual, or to society as a whole. To add value to existence.
Some individuals are titans of industry, creating jobs and wealth. Some are scientists, advancing our knowledge of the unknown. Still others are good friends, or good parents, or good neighbors. And, of course, it is possible to be more than one at the same time.
Of course, different people appreciate different things in others. To one person, punctuality might be a valuable trait, but to another it is unimportant.
What about you? What do you think gives a person value? Is one person more valuable than another? What makes them so? Is there a difference between value to an individual versus to society?
However, there is also the idea of negative value. Some people might take more from others or from society than they provide in return. They might steal, or be selfish, or harm others in some way.
Is there a point at which the value of an individual drops to zero? Or does everyone, no matter how bad, have some value? What does our societal institutions, like the law, our government, and religion have to say about human value?
Related questions: How do you define success? What are our responsibilities to others? What makes a community? How do you judge yourself?
Of all the gifts (Christmas or otherwise) you’ve ever been given in your entire life, what was the best one? What makes a good gift?
Share why if you wish.