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Uplifting movies about appreciation

Updated on August 4, 2015

“Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness.”

Steve Marshall, motivational speaker and the author of Life, the Truth and being Free, stated the most important reason for showing appreciation for those around us.

Appreciation is not easy to show, but has value nonetheless. Having said that, it is an art that anyone can learn. A few uplifting movies will hone it further.


Why appreciating others is difficult

If you pause to think about it, "thank you" and "I appreciate you" are some of the most difficult words to say.

You may attribute this to not being accustomed to expressing positive emotions. Convention dictates that doing so makes us "mushy" or emotionally weak. Though this sounds strange, there is an unstated belief that devaluing people is a way to encourage them.


The Value of Appreciation

People realize the value of appreciation, though they seldom consider it. Stoicism, inherent in most societies, makes them more inclined to show a quiet regard for others.

That said, more obvious gestures of appreciation are concrete proof of your gratitude. It increases serotonin, the chemical that relieves stress and prompts happiness. Most people enjoy giving others a hand. What makes them disgruntled is not getting acknowledgment for their efforts.

It also makes it easier for them to show you gratitude in return. People often withhold their "thank you" when they do not feel recognized. An appreciative gesture shows your sincerity.

Respect is an essential ingredient in any relationship. Without it, tension ensues quickly. Appreciation is a form of respect. The more regarded a person feels, the better your relationship with him is.


Showing a little gratitude

Appreciation need not overwhelm, or become exceedingly cloying. There are less obstrusive ways to appreciate a person's efforts.

For a start, build his value. Put in a good word for him when you can, and take opportunities to praise him. Instead of using doing this loudly, just give his good qualities a simple mention.

Take the chance to catch him doing what is right. This form of appreciation can work wonders. A person who is usually not demonstrative may suddenly feel encouraged and positive.

Being specific is essential. It shows that your appreciation is sincere. Stating exactly what you like about a person shows him that you have noticed his positive qualities.

It Could Happen To You

Movies about appreciation

Movies often seem trite, but have hidden gems to offer us. Here are a few that teach a lesson or two about gratitude and appreciation.

1. It could happen to you

This first movie is a 1994 American film which stars Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda. A New York City Police officer Charlie (Cage) splits his lottery winnings with a waitress, Yvonne (Fonda). They find joy in giving their money away, but when it runs out, they discover their love for each other. The movie shows that giving leads to rewards far more important than money.

Forrest Gump

2. Forrest Gump

The story traces the life of Forrest, a slow-witted, but goodhearted man from Alabama who witnesses and influences defining events of the 20th century. Forrest overcame his disability to become one of the fastest runners in the world. He teaches us to seize each moment, in spite of our handicaps, because everyone can bring about positive change.

Finding Nemo

3. Finding Nemo

This 2003 Disney feature is not a mere animated movie about a fish trying to swim in bigger seas. When an accident flushes Nemo from his secluded tank into the ocean, he learns how to develop wider world views. He also learns the art of appreciation and how to value others who help him.

Freaky Friday

4. Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday is an entertaining 2003 movie about how an enchanted fortune cookie switches the souls of a mother and daughter (Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan). Previously unable to appreciate each other's situations, one learns what it is to live as the other. The movie opens a viewer's eyes to the need for empathy.

Mr Holland's Opuus

5. Mr. Holland's Opus

This 1995 film stars Richard Dreyfuss as Glenn Holland, a high school music teacher who aspires to compose a great piece of music. He gives up this dream to educate others, but it enriches his soul. Teachers express their thanks to him at the end of a long career.

It's a Wonderful Life

6. It's a Wonderful Life

Based on the story, The Greatest Gift, this 1946 Christmas fantasy has become a part of everyone's movie data bank. It is now a staple for the Christmas season. James Stewart, as George Bailey, has given his life to help others, but tries to commit suicide on Christmas Eve when few people return the favor. The movie guides people to appreciate the impact their lives have on others, who may not return their favors.

Lift your heart and show a little appreciation for someone today.


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    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Ah, those two are my faves too, Nithya!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Aviannovice!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      A great write and a valuable message. Finding Nemo is my favorite, great movie. Have watched Forrest Gump too.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is a fabulous reminder to show a little kindness and value the deeds of others. Actions can sometimes speak louder than words and release a lot of tension that has been building.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      As others have said, there's a great message in this hub, Michelle. Thank you for sharing the movie descriptions, too. I haven't seen all of the movies that you describe, but I plan to.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Excellent topic and a great hub, I really appreciate the way you have made us realise about a vital etiquette of our social living. The list of movies add glamour to your thoughts. You should have dealt with the reasons for people not being so encouraging? And what happens when this habit becomes the general attitude of a society.

    • Hazel Abee profile image

      Hazel Abee 2 years ago from Malaysia

      i loved the list of movies .. real inspiration ..

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I loved the message in this hub and you chose some really wonderful movies as examples of how people should act or what they can learn from one another. Up votes and happy to share.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great message and you chose some great movies to deliver that message.