Several years ago, I read a quote that Oprah shared during her last television show. She said, “I’ve talk to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common – they all wanted validation…They want to know, do you hear me? Do you see me? Does what I say mean anything to you?” It struck me that despite how different people may seem to be from us, we all have this fundamental desire deep within to be validated. We want to know that our lives matter, that what we do and what we say contributes in some way to others. In seeking validation, we expose an authenticity that unites rather than divides. If we seek to understand one another more often than we silence someone’s perspective, we all grow. It is in learning to respect each other that we lift all up and validate our unique contributions.


In Common

I serve for change

To inspire others

To instill hope

I bring you opportunity

I guide you on your way

I seek your validation

I shout words of hate

In fear of rejection

To fit in

And hide from the truth

Bullying keeps me safe

I seek your validation

I do my chores

I listen

I never break the rules

Always offer to help

Yet it’s never enough

I seek your validation

I compete hard

Play politics

Never give up

Until I win

Backstabbing to the top

I seek your validation

I raise my hand

Tutor my friends

I complete every assignment

On time or in advance

I ace the tests

I seek your validation

I work quietly

With focus and commitment

I seek perfection

I deliver my best

You micromanage

I seek your validation

I’m starving for attention

Not the back of your hand

Smacking my face

I act out to get noticed

Not to disappoint

I seek your validation

I give and I give

Ask for nothing

You walk all over me

Barely acknowledging

What I have done

I seek your validation

My pockets are full

My house is huge

I’m on every cover

On every station

I sell out

I seek your validation

I cut you off

Flick you off

Cuss you out

Laugh and walk away

I disregard your attack

I seek your validation