Appreciating the Small Things

Quick note: I did plan to write a blog post every day for 30 days but I failed and took a week off. I'll try and get back into it and continue my plan — remember failure is just a stepping stone to success. Back to the article!

Have you ever looked at a piece of modern art and thought that it wasn’t really art? I certainly have. A few strokes of a brush on a canvas and that makes a piece of art? It wasn’t my cup of tea. However, we can try to learn to appreciate things better.

In a piece of art, notice the shade of colours, the smaller patterns that emerge, the emotion that it may convey. Perhaps it resembles an object or an abstract thought. These are all things about it that can be appreciated. It may not be novel or exciting, but there may still be beauty. If you still struggle to appreciate something, consider how it’s made up of billions of atoms that were forged billions of years ago. It can remind you to appreciate reality itself and the blessing of life that we are all lucky to experience.

There are so many things in which beauty can be seen. You can look at a strand of grass and see how it blows in the wind, how it looks like a blade, and the nice shade of green it has. Looking at a towel, you can appreciate the feeling of the texture and the pattern of the fabric. You can appreciate a glass by seeing how light bends as you look through it through different angles. You can see your smartphone as a combination of many tiny parts that all work together in harmony to provide a user experience. You may even appreciate the sun rising, it does so every day and may seem trivial — but is still something good that happened that day, regardless of how your day went.

I only learned to appreciate through being taught mindfulness. Before, most things were boring and weren’t worth my attention. Now I realise that I can appreciate anything for its beauty, however small and insignificant it may be. Whether it be looking at the texture on the side of a brick or gazing at a single blossoming flower — it can still make me smile.

So, what’s the point in appreciating every little thing? To that, I’d answer: happiness. Appreciating things lets you see the beauty in reality itself. If you’re feeling sad and take the time to appreciate a flower, you may get the urge to smile regardless of how you felt before. It’s similar to focussing on the present moment. Instead, you focus your attention on a particular object. In a life where many things inevitably go wrong, focussing on the positives is something to be valued. Perhaps we’d all be better off noticing the positive things in life more.