Why don't we appreciate what we have until it is lost, the ones we love, until they have left?

Question: Why don't we appreciate what we have until it is lost, the ones we love, until they have left? Why do we remain complacent until it's too late?

Answer (1) These are interesting questions - yes we humans are certainly strange creatures. I do not know why we tend to do this except maybe it is a way of protecting ourselves from the distress of worrying about what might happen to our loved ones. I sense that maybe you have recently suffered a loss and that there is some grief issues to sort out. If this is the case then there are going to be many questions that pop into your head time and time again while you come to terms with this. Grief counselling may provide some assistance. If this is not the case then talking about these questions with those you love will greatly enrich your life and make it possible for some change for yourself and others.

Answer provided by Jacqueline McDiarmid, Psychotherapist

Answer (2) Complacency is often a product of our penchant for living in the future. One day we'll do this, have this, achieve that! We set our sights firmly on these goals and pay scant attention to those around us, taking them for granted and believing that they'll always somehow just be there. When these assumptions are suddenly shattered by harsh and unexpected reality, we are shocked and devastated. I believe this has more to do with the way we are pressured to live our lives nowadays, rather than it being an intrinsic part of human nature. Our so called "primitive" forebears lived for the moment, in a much more communal and supportive atmosphere. They depended heavily on each other for their very survival and as a result, good interpersonal relationships were considered vital. I think we all need to take our heads out of the clouds and pay attention to what's happening here and now, right under our noses.

Answer provided by David White, Psychotherapist

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