On the Front Porch: Validation is Only for Parking

“I sneezed on the beat, and the beat got sicker….”

Let’s face it. Most people want to feel good, if only for a moment.  Sugary sentiments often do the trick.  They can come in many shapes and forms: from loquacious lyrics to salacious sweet talkers. The value many people give to verbal validation is the only constant. They tell themselves:

“Your Words are All I Need to Get By.” (But not in the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell song version sort of way).

  • “Unless you agree. I can’t be me.”
  • “Your lack of justification means my condemnation.”

 What you talkin’ bout Willis?

I call it “feel-good-unless” syndrome.

  • You can’t feel good about your outfit unless someone compliments you.
  • You can’t perform well at the task at hand unless the boss tells you that you’re doing a good job
  • You doubt the validity of your dream unless every person you share it with tells you it’s a good one. (For starters, stop sharing your dreams with everyone!)

These folks can only feel good about themselves if someone else tosses in their direction a head nod or some other superfluous sign of support. The world of social media has added to this downward-facing debacle.  Many members of today’s society are governed by selfies, not self-love. They equate media post “likes” to personal value and worth.  Yet, the current need for the approval of others didn’t start with social media.  It was rooted during childhood and reinforced throughout many people’s lives.

For example, the ability to “color inside the lines” has rewarded enough kindergarten students with gold stars that NASDAQ noticed; the GDP glanced over, and the original California gold miners turned over in their graves.

Citizens have further learned that standing quietly and smiling politely earn accolades. This appears to be particularly true if paired with an overflow of forgiveness as was the stance of a family member alongside alleged freedom-fighter agents involved in the recent case: “Former Dallas Police Officer Is Guilty of Murder for Killing Her Neighbor,” New York Times, Oct. 1, 2019.

In that incident, a Dallas judge, court bailiff, and brother of the slain victim formed a self-doubt trifecta; a treasure trove of pity and parlance.  Their ill-conceived actions of coddling the convicted, gently handling hair strands of the condemned, and hugging a heinous murderer garnered great applause and overwhelming affirmation from like-minded souls who smiled and nodded in agreeance.  The brother’s antics can be viewed via YouTube at: “Brother of murdered Botham Jean hugs ex-police officer Amber Guyger in Dallas court.”  

Thus, for many, the halo-effect derived from the endorsement of others, no matter how demented the basis, never loses its appeal.   This mentality is akin to spiritual fatality.  I, for one, see things differently. Great Grand used to tell me, “If you constantly change yourself to please others, everyone will like you but yourself.”

Self-love saves souls.  Faint of the heart is the person who spends money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.  Imitation is a limitation.  Free your mind and faith will follow.  Remind yourself: Validation is only for parking. #OntheFrontPorch.

 

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