The Gift of Acknowledgement

What if the greatest gift we could ever give wasn’t something that we could buy or wrap up in a bow? What if the best gift we could ever give was the simple act of acknowledgement?

You know, sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that mean the most. And I think one of those things is the power of acknowledgement. Acknowledgement can be so powerful because it shows someone that they matter. That their existence matters. In this video, I want to talk about why acknowledgement is such a powerful gift and how you can use it to change your life and the lives of those around you.

The best gift we can ever give someone is the simple act of acknowledgement.
– David Wood


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[00:00:00] David Wood: What came up for me was acknowledgement. And I think acknowledgement, it was not a part of my life. It wasn’t a part of my family life. My parents probably weren’t acknowledged a lot. By acknowledgement, I mean, hey, what a great job you did on that. Or, you know, I notice I’m feeling just a lot of gratitude that you’re in my life.

I notice I’m feeling pride right now. Just seeing the decision you made and how you got there. And there just wasn’t a lot of acknowledgement. Like, like my mom telling my dad, I’m so glad that I’m married to you. It doesn’t happen. So acknowledgement and gratitude. I don’t know. I don’t know why it came up as you were saying that, but.

If I could offer something to parents and to teachers, and I’m sure a lot of teachers and principals are already clear on that. And I assume it’s a part of training now. I don’t know that it was when I was a kid. But I don’t think there could be too much of acknowledgement and appreciation.

Hey, I’m so glad that you’re around. I’m so glad to have you on the team. As a teacher, that thing you did in assembly, that was genius. You know, and calling it out in front of everybody, that was genius. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of that growing up. And so, and I was starved for it. And I think if there was one thing I could offer to educators and parents, again, who may already be doing it, I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much.

It could be a daily practice. This is what I’m grateful for, for you, my child. This is what I’m grateful for, for you, my student. For you, my fellow teacher. It’s changed my life. Being around teachers who’ve taught me and modeled for me, not at school. This didn’t happen at school. But later in life, who have modeled for me what full acknowledgement looks like. Calling out someone in front of a group and just going deep into not even what they’ve done, but who they are and how they’re showing up.

That’s a gift to the world. And I, I, I’m committed to more of it. Giving more of it in my life and I’d like to transmit it. I think the world could use a little more of it.

[00:02:27] Mark Taylor: Yeah. I really liked that. And you can, you can just tell can’t you that it just, it connects on a way like no other. And like you said, interestingly, that you knew that you had it as a lack rather than something which you realized from when you were getting it coming to you. You know, that kind of volume, this feels really good, but I think sometimes it’s the, it’s the lack of these things, which you then sort of pick up afterwards as you start to go through. So I think that acknowledgement and all of those things which you can you can pinpoint in a certain way, because I think sometimes we get stuck in a rut of kind of, you know, I must be grateful for this. I’m going to write down so many things that I’m doing, and I must do this, and I must do that because this is all going to make my life better, which is true because there is practice in the, and there’s putting these things in place, which does make a big difference, but there’s nothing like that.

I liked what you said about sort of going deep, just that kind of, this is how I’m feeling now. And I know that actually by transmitting this and talking about it and putting it out in chatting to someone in a group about this. Not because I had to, because it was part of my list of something I wanted to do today, but I can feel this is the time and this is the person that needs to get it right now.

And I think that kind of authenticity is, is amazing.

[00:03:38] David Wood: Well, that would be ideal if it just was spontaneous and that’s what it came up. But I’m a huge fan of fake it till you make it. And I’m a huge fan of structures. So if you need to put it in your phone, set an alarm four o’clock each day, go and tell my kids something I appreciate about them. Do it! Use it.

We are creatures of habit. I often relate human training to dog training. Um, uh, I try and train myself like I train my dog. I’d give myself a reward for something good I did. And maybe there’s a consequence, something if I do something bad. So it’s not natural for most of us.

If you’re Byron Katie, one of the teachers I follow. Okay. She’s just pure love. And she’s like, how wonderful to see you, sweetheart. She’s just pure love. Okay. But most of us aren’t Byron Katie. So I say fall back on any structure. If you’ve got a business or you’re a principal, you’re running a school, build it into your meetings. Build it into your meetings, that you are acknowledging people and calling them out. Build it into your meetings that they are acknowledging each other and calling each other out before we get to what needs to be corrected. Build it into your daily practices with your family, with your partner.

And then ultimately, maybe it will come more natural. It is a little more, um, naturally I don’t want to make some grammar mistakes where, you know, on a podcast for teachers, um, my mother would be right on top of that. Eventually, I think it will be more natural that you’ll be like, oh, your brain will go. That was really good that they did that. Oh, I didn’t tell them. And then the next part you’ve got to get to, you know what, I’m going to reach out. I’m going to tell them.

You know, thinking about this podcast as I was, as I was prepping for it, I don’t normally prep in my head, but I was thinking about a teacher at school who was so grounded and in his dignity and didn’t get thrown by all the crap that we threw at him.

We gave him a hard time. Mr Fiveash. Phillip Fiveash. Cessnock High School. I’m going to call him out publicly. He had every right to give us a hard time back and to give snide comments and just try and bring us down. And he never did. Other teachers did. And fair enough. He never did. He always treated us with respect and 20 years after school, I tracked down his phone number and I called him at his home. And I said, this might surprise you, but this is David Wood. I don’t know if you remember me. He said, are you kidding? And I said, I really want to acknowledge you. You had every right to try and bring us down and to push back and give us a hard time.

You never once did it. You treat it. I’ve got goosebumps right now. You treated us with respect and that made a huge difference in my life. You modeled for me how to be grounded in the face of someone who’s giving me a hard time and I want to thank you for that. And anyone listening, if you, if there’s a teacher that made a difference for you and you feel like tracking them down and writing them a letter or giving, you know, sending them, uh, or calling them.

Um, I say, I say, do it. What a wonderful thing to do in the world.

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