Lesson #105 – Validation

I may be revisiting old themes here, but it’s worth another kick at the can.

A child is born and, when its eyes first open, it searches for its mother’s face.

If it first encounters a smiling face, then all is well. It is an instinctive reaction like suckling or a grasping hand.  That is validation number one.  Many more follow; first words, first steps, first success at potty training.

This progression, I suspect, is part of the process that forms our moral compass, establishing our true north and setting the pattern of our life.  Every word, every action without the reassurance of validation is like one hand clapping.  And of course validation breeds loyalty, trust, maybe even love.

What is the survival value of validation?  In the immediate realm, it means I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine.  The survival odds double.  With respect to the tribe, validation (loyalty) increases the odds exponentially.  When they finally get around to appointing a chief, they are on the precarious path to democracy, fascism or totalitarianism.  But it all stems from the need for validation.

How then do we make sense of an Osama bin Laden, an Adolph Hitler or a Genghis Khan? Obviously, their compass is fixed on some other point and it may not be for the benefit of the tribe, but something altogether more personal.  They command loyalty but it is all focused in one direction, to the top, one person or one ideology.  It doesn’t radiate outwards so there is no cohesion. The tribe is doomed.  They can act as one but there is no resilience.

What is it that I am looking for by writing these words and casting them out like crumbs on the water?  Am I so insecure that I’m trying to solicit validation for my efforts?  Vanity publishing is made for such a one as i. So are blogs and the puffed-up feathers of those who boast about the number of followers they have.  

Perhaps it is only those who are so secure in their own skin that don’t seek the approval of others.  I’ve yet to meet any, and it sure as hell isn’t me.

But there’s always a chance.


Lesson #105 – Validation

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