On Acknowledgement Postman Gopalnath sometimes disappointed us by having only one piece of post to deliver. To bored children on summer vacation who had exhausted all the Amar Chitra Katha’s, Chandamama’s and Tinkle’s, that was like Santa delivering a Wren & Martin or an unabridged Merriam-Webster. One day, that one piece that Gopalnath delivered was accorded a royal welcome worthy of a warrior returning with victorious tidings. The misleadingly small card was an Acknowledgement Due card that came back to the sender, informing us that the intended had received whatever was sent. We crowded around the A.D. card and examined the recipient’s signature and date received. There was something so full-circle about it, so reassuring, so reaffirming to see a familiar handwriting and recipient's signature telling you that something was done as you directed. Not all acknowledgements in life can be thus arranged. Sometimes we crave an acknowledgement that has to come of its own volition. This post is about that acknowledgement -- the acceptance or recognition of another’s effort, toil, challenge or hurt feelings. The young child with a lot of homework to complete, gazing discouragingly at the pile of books, wants an acknowledgement from parents that his afternoon is ruined, school is an arduous obligation, and life is temporarily difficult. A light-hearted acknowledgement of his burden helps more than the most solemn lecture on the importance of education. You would think a stay-at-home-mom’s deepest dream is a fairy who will do all the chores. No. A sincere acknowledgement of how difficult her day can get and how endless her to-do’s can be is what she craves. Wise is the man who learns this soon enough in married life. I am not saying that just words are sufficient, the man can acknowledge and proceed to plonk himself down on the sofa to switch on the T.V., but the words are needed. As parents we share our fears, thoughts, and worries with other parents. Sometimes, we only want an acknowledgement that what we are going through is tough, tough, tough. A friend who can figure out when you only want an acknowledgement of your latest parenting woe and when you are looking for detailed how-to’s is a treasure. We often read here about the adult child who well into her 30’s and 40’s is not able to get over unfair treatment from parents. As we dole out advice and suggestions for her to deal with it, slowly it comes out that she is looking for something so simple as an acknowledgement from mom or dad that her angst is valid. The people who so desperately seek an acknowledgement often do not want any compensation or grand acts of reparation. But the acknowledgement often eludes them. Maybe acknowledgement is like happiness, which a popular quote says is like a butterfly: “When pursued, happiness is always just beyond your grasp, but if you sit down quietly, it might alight on you.” Sometimes I think, what if there was a mobile app for acknowledgements? People could enter into it the acknowledgements they are looking for and could submit acknowledgements to others. I know, I know… it is a crazy idea and about as gratifying as receiving a gift after you spent hours setting up a gift-registry. But still, there are some acknowledgments that would be gratifying to receive and some a relief to deliver. .