Blowing The Trumpets

One day, my department head approached me and said: “Francis, the video you did is too long, if I post on Facebook, people may not have the patience to watch throughout.”

He was referring to the “Appreciation” video (about 8 minutes) from the other departments which I have edited for one of our department events.

I gave him a puzzled look as he continued: “So can you split them into 2 shorter videos so that I can post and show others how we are being appreciated by the other departments.”

I nodded my head and said: “Sure! I’ll take a look and see how I can split them.” and wanted to turn back to continue with my unfinished work.

But he stood there and waited for me and said: “hmm… can you do it now? Is it difficult? How long will it take?”

“It’s not difficult, but I don’t have the tools here. These videos were edited using my personal notebook at home and I don’t have it here.” I smiled and told him politely, hoping that he could get the hint that this is not my priority for now, for I have other more important work related matters to attend to.

“Is there no other means to do it now? Is there any software on the web that can get this done quickly?” He persisted on. I got a little bit annoyed and yet felt a sense of pity for him and replied: “Let me take a look later.” Honestly, it was already a clear sign of brushing him off.

Realizing that he couldn’t get my butt moving, he left me to continue with my work.

It was already 2 days later when I remembered this request from him and it happened to be a Sunday. So I turned on my personal notebook, flicked out the video and quickly split them into 2 and exported them. I then sent the videos to him via WhatsApp and he forwarded the videos to the department group chat and requested for someone to post the videos on Facebook and tag him.

Unfortunately, nobody responded.

A few days later, he posted the videos himself and sent another group chat message to the department asking others to go and “like” the videos to show appreciation to the other departments who have shown their appreciation to us, and also hoped that those who took our department for granted will see these videos and correct their ways.

As usual, I ignored his message and much as I try not to be judgmental (which is something I am practicing on) but I couldn’t help thinking: “Is “liking” on Facebook really the way to show appreciation to the others? And are we really so hard up for the “action” of appreciation? Or is it just one’s insecurity that we need to get the “likes” to feel that we’re being appreciated?”

Blame it on society if I may, insecurity has always been one of the weaknesses of most of us these days. So we go around looking for recognition, hoping for praises and chasing after awards such as Staff of the Month, Employee of the Year, to the extent that everything that we do need to be captured in selfies and wefies for distribution in group chats and waiting for others to give thumbs up, even if it means just doing part of our job!

Pictures are flying all over group chats, showcasing oneself how we are contributing to the success of a project, how valuable we are in the company, all the indirect self-praises are becoming a norm. When there’s an important meeting with clients, taking group pictures become inevitable and it’s not for memories, but for having held a “successful” event, or worse, evident that we are doing our jobs!

Appreciation can be done in many ways, not only through words or emoticons. Appreciation should be shown on daily basis, with bits of “thank yous” and/or helping each other in projects when the opportunity arises. Appreciation is something that is to be kept in heart

Regardless is it appreciation, gratitude or even love, I believe that many a times true appreciations are silent, kept in the heart and expressed through actions in times of needs and not for showing off. Appreciation can come in the form of a personal note to the person being appreciated (and not blowing the trumpet showing how appreciative we are), a small token of gift (not during occasions when everybody is giving everybody something), or even gesture to offer help in time of need. And the most sincere appreciation and gratitude are often expressed in person and privately, for the person who appreciates and the person being appreciated are not looking for glorious moments, but just the act of appreciation and gratitude.

If we do an honest piece of work, we don’t need others to put up an act of appreciation, and even if we are not appreciated, we know that we have done what we need to do. We don’t need others to confirm that what we do is right.

Love is the same, and I never realize it until now. Love need not be mentioned every day, and when not said, should not be treated as lack of love. But more often than not, we feel that we are not being loved because the other party don’t say it out loud as per our expectations. Similarly, it is a sense of insecurity that most of us feel in terms of love.

If we are confident of ourselves, and if we love ourselves, do we then need another person to shout out loud the 3 magical words: “I love you”?

When my department head approached me and wanted me to do it quickly even when I said I didn’t have the right tools in the office, has he ever displayed any kind of appreciation?

Sadly to say: No, he didn’t.

All I could feel was he just wanted his things to get done and glory to be publicized asap. And I felt sad, for we do not really know how to love ourselves, but to depend on external environment and situation and outsiders to prove our worth.


Francis Lim

Categories: Art, self-love, thoughts

Tagged as: , ,


  1. Hi there , an interesting read and hopefully loving ourselves and believing in the ‘best’ we can do in situations can overcome the need to be publicly appreciated.


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