It’s pretty amazing to realize what can move us when we let it.  I was recently exposed to a video entitled “Validation.” At the time, I only saw the introductory portion which was entertaining and heartwarming in its own right. A couple of weeks later I looked it up and watched it in its entirety of about 17 minutes.  The story is sweet, the message is infectious: we all want to be validated whenever and wherever possible.  We seek validation from our loved ones, our colleagues and classmates, from perfect strangers – in short, by life itself. The reality, however, seems to be that it rarely appears to the degree and frequency which we actually require.

So when receive validation that is genuine, something happens: We lighten up, we listen up, we perk up.  What a great feeling that is – to be put at ease, to feel welcomed, encouraged, accepted.  It’s no surprise that we crave it so much.  And in principle it usually costs us little.

Here are some recent validations I’ve received which have felt like manna from heaven:

  • A hug from a Pre-K student,
  • A request from a dear friend and colleague to offer feedback on her writing,
  • A shout-out for this blog in a parenting forum on facebook,
  • Dinner and good conversation with my 18 year old son,
  • Positive feedback from my teammate who had success with an activity I suggested,
  • Getting back into the habit of jogging every other day – it’s happening!

At the same time, I have also had the pleasure of offering validation to others:

  • An e-mail thank you to a colleague for sharing useful info in a clear and concise manner,
  • Praising students (many) for a job well done (quite often),
  • Speaking with a colleague about a student of concern and assuring her that she has my full support,
  • Consenting to playing the villain (again!) when my 4 year old and I play superheroes.

You could make someone else’s day by taking a moment to give them a stamp of validation. As long as it is real and from the heart, it can make a genuine difference.  Try it.

And watch the video:

Sing and dance!


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