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29 March 2021
Words by Andy Smallman / Artwork by Fish Astronaut
Validate Others

Back in February, I suggested an activity called "On Getting Credit." In that activity, I invited you to consider if your good intentions are ever motivated by being acknowledged, seen, or otherwise getting credit for doing something helpful. 

For this week, I'm hoping to differentiate "getting credit" from "validation," although the line between them is very fine. Are we validating our partner when we gratefully acknowledge them completing a chore or are we adding a debit to their account, the one we might be secretly keeping inside our heads? 

Validation honors our humanness, the fact that we exist. It's like respect. The need to get credit comes from an injured or weaker place inside us, related to ego. Validation is connected to genuine appreciation. Getting credit is related to a form of accounting, the "I emptied the dishwasher, you need to take out the trash" way of thinking.

When we validate others, our actions flow through us, connecting us to something profound. Using this understanding, this week your exercise is to validate others in a way that makes sense to you.

For more insight, reflect on these questions: 
  • With whom do we do keep such credit ledgers? 
  • How does this serve you? 
  • Does it ever backfire? 
  • Do you keep such a ledger with yourself?
With connection & warmth, 


Kind Living inspires people to both recognize
and engage in acts of ordinary kindness.

Copyright © 2021 Andy Smallman, All rights reserved.

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