People often say, “I don’t know what other people see so special in it,” thinking they are naive. But what if the answer is right there, in the first clause “I don’t know”?

If you travel to Egipt, stay at the bottom of pyramids and say, “I don’t know why people are so amazed by this bunch of stones,” then you don’t understand the context in which these stones were used. You don’t know what to be amazed by. Building one pyramid involved: two million stone blocks, one hundred thousand workers, twenty years of work, all of that five thousand years ago. It is marvelous where did they get these stones from; there is no stone pit in Cario. How did they transport them, organized the construction works, raised 80 tonnes stone blocks at a high 140m, and managed that massive number of people without phones and walkie-talkies? Finally, why did they used that workforce to build a tomb, not towns, ships, and conquer lands? Amazing!

If you read a book that is widely agreed as a masterpiece and you say it’s crap, with high probability you don’t understand it. If you are not familiar with the times when the author wrote the book, why this book came out, who was he or she addressed it to. Then you probably can not appreciate it thoroughly. If your language skills are poor and you don’t understand the phrases, then the book is just too hard for you, but it’s not crap.

If you see a sports car and say it is entirely impractical, uncomfortable, expensive, and loud. It’s a sign you don’t understand it. You can not appreciate the ingenuity of designers who achieved such a fantastic design. You can’t understand the challenges that the engineers faced when building such a powerful vehicle. The driving experience is as hard to explain as describing sex to a virgin.

If you are a beginner programmer and join some big project, you may think, “What a mess; why do they complicate everything so much?”. There is a chance it’s not a mess but an enterprise-grade software, where you need to reason upon it from a very abstract point of view. You need to see design patterns like you see simple for each loop. Only then will you understand it and appreciate the beauty of the machinery as a whole. It’s not a mess; the pieces you look at are, in fact, thoughtful pieces of code.

Next time you say, “I don’t know what is so special about it,” think about it again, this time with a different attitude, look at it as something extraordinary, try to understand, try to appreciate. With this new attitude, you can learn something new all the time. It can save you lots of frustration, misunderstanding, and conflicts with people of a different lifestyle.

I use this to identify what I still don’t know on a level that would let me appreciate the world with higher intensity.

By appreciating more, you can experience the world with higher intensity. Everything becomes stimulating, interesting, fascinating, and unique. It can be your new drug.

How to learn appreciating? The best way is to try to do it yourself and experience the challenge of doing it well. You can try programming, painting, playing music in your home; there are tutorials on youtube that will rise you to the level when you notice the challenge.

Things I identify for not being able to appreciate are poems, classical music, paintings, cultures, traveling, architecture, athletic sports, dancing.

What do you appreciate? What can’t you appreciate?