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Since the housing crisis, the word “appreciation” has given way to “depreciation.”  Markets tend to go up or down and rarely stay static.  Recently, down seems to be the direction.  The best thing about depreciation is the tax advantage.  Everything else is mostly bad news. 

But, of course, there is another definition to the word “appreciation.”  It means to give approval or a favorable judgment or evaluation.  This kind is not tied to economic trends or market forcasts or the caprice of greedy people.  It is not dependent upon financial wisdom.  It is not about being in the right place at the right time.  It takes very little skill, wisdom, intellect or time.  But, the investment is incredible.  It is simply to express “thanks” and offer words of encouragement to people we come into contact with on a daily basis.  In fact, you can appreciate people without words.  I was in a crowd of people in another country and saw how appreciation impacted people whose language prohibited words from carrying any value. 

Marlene and I sat in a restaurant the other day and witnessed something that broke our hearts.  A family was sitting at their table.  The father and the children were reading books.  The mom was busying herself with ordering the food, preparing the table service, picking up the food at the order counter, making multiple trips to get the necessities for the family dining experience.  There was not a word of thanks, acknowledgement of her efforts or even the slightest recognition of her presence much less her efforts.  She was thoroughly taken for granted.  And that was from family. 

I would imagine that there are countless folks who live life that way.  They do everything without notice, recognition or appreciation for their efforts.  Days on end are filled with fulfilling duty and providing care without notice.  It is a shame.  No Christian should ever pass by a person who has offered a common courtesy without recognizing it.  It is not revolutionary.  It is not even distinctly Christian.  However, for those of us who do it, it is absolutely necessary.  You see, it makes the other person feel more human.  And, it makes us more human in the process.  If Jesus could pick up the small child and recognize the woman who touched his garment in the crowd and notice the woman who put in the small coins; we would be more like Jesus to see, feel, hear and recognize those whom others rarely do.