Who Do We Appreciate?

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Who Do We Appreciate?

I was out for a bike ride one evening this week, and I came upon the iconic summer scene of a Little League baseball game. I stopped for a moment and watched, reminiscing about the many years I spent both playing baseball as a kid, and coaching my kids as they did the same.

As I rode on I found myself thinking back to one particular ritual that we used to do after each game, both when we won and when we lost. Our team would form a circle and chant, “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Go…….Giants (or whatever the name of the other team was).” Then we would go over and shake hands with the other team, who had usually just finished doing the same cheer for us. We were paying attention to each other’s efforts, whether it led to a victory or not. 

For me, one of the most important parts of youth sports, if not the most important part, is the opportunity to teach character and values through being a good sport. Educating youth to appreciate others efforts sincerely, no matter the outcome, is a life lesson they can hold on to long after they complete their Little League baseball years.

All of this brings me to one of the core teachings that runs throughout our adult, parent, and teen wellness programs, the principle that, “Whatever we pay attention to, is what will grow.’ While I didn’t mention this principle directly in my column last week where I talked about the gift of imperfection, it was certainly implied. In that column I spoke of when it comes to our gardens as well as our lives, we can pay attention to the weeds that will always be there, or we can pay attention to that which is good and beautiful. Because, in fact, whatever we pay attention to, is what will grow.

I recently heard a different way of declaring this truth and it ties in with the Little League baseball cheer I mentioned earlier. It goes like this: “What we appreciate, appreciates.”  

If we appreciate and praise good behavior in a child, we will likely see more of that behavior.

If we appreciate someone’s efforts in facing a hard challenge, we will increase their self-confidence and their commitment to keep working to overcome their challenge.

If we express our gratitude and appreciation for something kind that someone does for others, we give encouragement for more acts of kindness.

When we call someone up who is alone who could use a little appreciation, we make them feel cared about and make their day.

You can, I’m sure, think of additional examples from your own life of how, “What we appreciate, appreciates,” and I encourage you to do so. Even more, I encourage you to test out the truth of this principle by making a concerted effort, in the days and weeks to come, to go out of your way and appreciate people in your life.

So, here we go team,…….”Two, four, six, eight. Who can we appreciate? Go……….”

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