One of the many gifts Black culture has given US culture as a whole is an (if I may) jazzy approach to language. Poetry, rap, slang, playing the dozens, AAVE – Black culture shows us how to play with language, have fun with it, bend it and shape it to amaze, to inspire, to inform, to entertain.
And we all benefit.
One small thing that I’ve been working to add to my common speech patterns is the simple but profound: “I appreciate you.”
Not “I appreciate this thing you did for me.”
Not “I appreciate this thing you gave me.”
I appreciate YOU.
Hearing that – saying that – feels different. My appreciation is not about some way that you helped or benefited me. My appreciation is of you, as a person, in the entirety of your being and just for existing and being who you are.
I’d challenge you to do the same – and to find someone, today, and simply say, “I appreciate YOU.” I think it has the potential to change the way we see the world.
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