Recognition: A Human Privilege

Happiness seems elusive for many. It is something one can not ask for from anyone. It is felt and sometimes earned. It is not a right that one would require everyone to give, instead it is a privilege that everyone wants. However, the fundamental prerequisite for happiness is something others impose unto others, that is recognition.

Recognition of one's presence is the most important aspect to be happy. If others do not appreciate or even one does not realize the importance the meaning of his or her existence, one would never be entirely happy. This is somehow reflected in various life areas, and this is the focus of this blogpost.


A parent, a sibling or a child must not expect the other family member to actively make one happy by giving recognition. To be appreciated is something what everyone expects in a family. It is considered by some the one of the functions of a family, but this does not tell about what everyone in the family should do. Recognition is a ideal standard, but not an imposition or obligation. The family is a social unit that allows one to hone his or her social skills by being with another harmoniously and learning the acceptable gestures within norms. However, the interpretation of being acknowledged lies on the boundaries of one's right in a family. Yes, family members must give praises and respect to one another, but that is a privilege to be given for those who still deserve it based on social norms.


Being in a relationship that does not work is simply being ignored by another. In simpler terms, it happens when both in a relationship cease to exist and be appreciated in each other's eyes. The value of the other seems not congruent to what the other thinks is best for him or her. It is therefore crucial to point out that relationships are not about the other's characteristics, but about what we become because of the other. The change from within is brought about by the other paying attention, allocating time and using resources to be with the other and do good for and in behalf of the other. That is an example of recognition in a relationship. Therefore, when one no longer care, hurts the other, desires bad for the other and no longer finds time, these are impending signs of a non-mutually-appreciative, unhappy relationship. When this come, it marks the time to rethink and start over again.


In a macroperspective, the society is the most difficult to get recognition from. The social norms dictate what others need and what. The society educates everyone to behave according to standards, which limits one's idea of contentment. One thinks that happiness is something others should give, rather than giving for the benefit of everyone to earn some form of recognition. It would be logically incorrect to think that one must be obliged to do act of kindness and expect some appreciation in the end to feel happiness. What is correct to say is one should contribute something good in the society, learn not expect what others can give whether in the form of recognition and be happy no matter how much others appreciate one. It is not a matter of how much but a question of whether it exists to even a slight or minimal degree. Therefore, help even a little, perhaps just by smiling and never expect something from others, but still remain wholeheartedly smiling.

Being acknowledged is actually a subjective barometer. One could feel happy with a minimal recognition, even the same amount of appreciation leaves another unhappy. It is to say, that contentment is a different entity from happiness. When one is easily contented, one avoids the feeling of regret, anxiety and melancholy. It is easier then to smile than think over whether people and situations are good or bad for us. As the saying goes, drop your shoulders, relax and go with the flow. Do not be too critical and seek deliberately for appreciation. It is earned through one's actions. Do something good and be contented on other's reactions thereafter.


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