Can familiarity breed appreciation too?

Probably via glimmers

arun simon
3 min readFeb 1, 2024

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith, and reason is over familiarity. I too remember saying in a funny way to my parents the famous phrase “prophets not being respected in the hometown.” We have the (in)famous phrase which says familiarity breeds contempt, which attests the biblical story. At the same time, familiarity always doesn’t lead to contempt, but to greater, love, service and affection — so many marriages, long lasting friendships being the wonderful examples.

Who are the ordinary characters of the society, or the familiar ones for whom honour is not always accorded?

  • House wives (who are mothers in most cases) in many of our families. They do a work which is either taken for granted, or not appreciated. Even the maid, or those who does the so-called menial jobs are rarely appreciated.
  • Many parents don’t appreciate their children at all. They surely know of the good and bad characteristics of their children. But the parents were not appreciated in their childhood, and the chain continues. It doesn’t mean love doesn’t exist. It exists and in much a good way. Same goes from the side of children to parents too. For many of us children, parents are just doing their duty and nothing is there to be appreciated.
  • Many spouses might also take their spouses for granted. We can take our friends for granted.

In many of these cases, familiarity or presumed ordinariness helps us to take people for granted, resulting in an inability to see their skills or ability, or to appreciate them.

Gratefulness is much appreciated in Bible and in psychological studies. May be its something worth trying in our close and over familiar and ordinary relationships. We become happier; people are happier; society and community and family are better too.

Realizing those glimmers is the first step. And it makes us happier. And the next step can be appreciating others responsible for those glimmers. Yes, those ordinary people around us may not provide moments of great joy everyday, but surely moments of glimmers if we do have awareness. Awareness of glimmers leading to appreciation of others is the best way to deal with inattention, especially of the ordinary and the familiar.



arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…