Appreciation is the action of recognizing the value and worth of persons or things — not as they might be, could be, or should be, but as they are.
We are told to appreciate others, to realize that everyone has special talents and abilities, but do we? I learned an unforgettable lesson about abilities, strengths, and weaknesses from a soccer game.
One of our players was difficult to appreciate in terms of standard soccer skills. She was slow, plodding, and notoriously lacking in reflexes. Various players had schemed to eject her from the team but could not because of her unfailing faithfulness and reliability. She never missed a practice, never missed a game, and always played valiantly as best she could.
Because she was slow and plodding she had to play her position and concentrate on passes rather than wandering all over the field. Because she was not sprinting here and there she never wore herself out or needed to be substituted.
"She is not an asset to the team," they said.
One day we met a team that had such a superb dribbler that they never bothered to field more than five or six players, yet they were trouncing the league. Two of our players changed that: our best one and our worst one.
Our "worst" player never even saw them — a "failing" that allowed her to consistently and reliably clear the ball while others could not.
Super Dribbler, baffled by this unexpected turn of events, was unable to adapt her strategy, and, because everything had depended on that one skill, she had no team to call on when it failed.
We won because of a completely unexpected combination of skills.
A strength that was a weakness.
A weakness that was a strength.
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