Appreciation versus Depreciation

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.
Alan Cohen

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. – Frederick Keonig


When we consider our beliefs, there is a dichotomy of how we can choose to approach the world.  We can find value in everything around us, or we can devalue our world. In “The Secrets of the Power of Intention”, Dr. Wayne Dyer discussed this in terms of appreciation and depreciation. When we are appreciative, we find more value in all things around us. Wayne Dyer used the example of the Holocaust Survivor Victor Frankl  who was able to mentally survive living in a concentration camp by finding beauty in a fish head floating in his soup.

When we look at the world appreciatively, we are creating more value to ourselves. Since our experience is essentially governed by our perception of the world around us, the more value we find, the more value we perceive. When you adopt the strategy of appreciation you are more likely to turn a challenge into an opportunity.

It is important to note that most people are not solely appreciative or completely depreciative. It would be very difficult to imagine someone appreciating the passing of a loved one or devaluing winning $1,000,000. However, the more appreciative someone is in his or her habits, thoughts and feelings it would be easier for that person to accept the passing of a loved one by focusing on memories of the good time shared with that person and of all the things they have learned from that person. If someone is commonly depreciative, they may still adopt a pattern of daily complaining even after winning $1,000,000.

When evaluating your beliefs, consider if you beliefs are creating more value for you.

Depreciate beliefs include:

  • Belief that you are unworthy of love, affection, success or material goods
  • Belief that you are superior to others (since you are depreciating others)
  • Belief that you are inferior to others (since you are depreciating yourself)
  • Belief that you would only be worthy if you had a certain amount of social status or material goods.

Appreciate beliefs include:

  • Belief that you are worthy of love, affection, success or material goods
  • Belief that all people have value
  • Belief that you have value regardless or race, status or class
  • Belief that you can learn something from all situations

I hope that you are able to find value in each and every day!

Judgment as an evaluative process is “positive” since it is helpful for us to compare differing perspectives to make a decision or to evaluate information to make a wise decision to determine the best course of action. This sense of judgment infers using sound criteria as a part of the process. It also connotes an image of fairness and justice.

However, we people are labeled as “judgmental”, we imagine a person who uses judgment to devaluate. We devalue others when we engage in the practice of discrimination and prejudice. When we devalue others, we feel in some way superior to “the other”. The process of devaluing people can be extremely dangerous. In the extreme case of genocide, the side committing the atrocities devalued the group victimized by the genocide.

When we adopt the habit of devaluing others through judgment, we know subconsciously that other people may be “judging” us. If I am judging others, it only makes sense that someone else would be judging me. Therefore, the more judgmental we become, the more afraid we may become of being judged ourselves. It also follows that the more that we have experienced being devalued by another’s judgment, the more likely we are to feel justified in judging others.

The next time you find yourself judging a quality of another person, ask yourself if you are evaluating or devaluating this person.

I feel that this is one of the many life situations where the old saying of “do onto others as you wish others to do onto you” would apply.


14 Responses to “Appreciation versus Depreciation”

  1. We definitely share a very similiar perpective/outlook/philosophy on things. I’m really trying to focus on gratitude – one of the most powerful words in the english language I think (hope being the other). Finding a reason to be grateful in a dark time can make all the difference in how long or how dark it can get. Another great article! 🙂

  2. First of all I love Wayne Dyer’s book about intentions. As always very insightful. I like how you break down the beliefs. They are very powerful for each and everyone of us. In some ways I disagree with your judgment analysis. I prefer to assess or provide feedback and give in a more useful manner. I do agree if we feel we are being judged then we are also being judgmental. Been there done that.

    Sue Bock

    • Thank you for the feedback. I was trying to articulate the difference between the view of “judgement” where we view ourselves as superior to the one being judged and “evaluation” where we can analyze one’s behaviors as being either a value or a hinderance. I feel that the act of providing feedback or analysis would be appreciative since it provides value. The act of reacting to someone solely based on that person’s label (race, color, creed, political officiation, religion, etc.) would be de-valuative. I am very grateful for the feedback.

      • Ah, I see where you are going.

      • Thanks Sue. I am finding it hard to articulate some ideas without making them “black and white”. For example, I have been drafting something on “gossip” for some time. It would be easy to write “gossip is bad, however the Psychological evidence does not support this stance. As always, I am very appreciative for all feedback. Even constructive feedback such as “hmm, needs more real-life examples” or “take some more time for editing.

      • I understand. I have a suggestion if you want to email me

  3. You inspire me with every word you write. To thank you for all that you have added to my little world, I would like to nominate you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. For info and details, please go to Love and light to you always! 🙂 MoJo

  4. Great Post. Judging myself and others is a big issue with me and it’s always helpful to try to see myself through someone else’s perspective. The more I am honest with myself and others about being judgemental and looking at these situations the easier it is to step back and just watch a situation unfold instead of bringing my gunck to the table. Gratitude is definitely useful in overcoming the judger in me. Thanks again for your insights.

  5. Dear Andrew, it’s been a thought provoking, insightful and wonderfully inspiring visit for me! Your posts all touch on issues crucial to humanity’s well being and the individual’s choice for a more meaningful life. Thank you so much and I’ll be back to catch up on more! Have a great Sunday! Warmest greetings from Finland, Sharon


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