On Validation

Validation has been on my mind this week. Not in the way that I’m trying to seek validation, but simply observing how easy or hard it is to receive.

Here’s the thing about validation, it’s always desired, rarely given and hard to come by. And yet, sometimes you think the people that will understand your worth most in life are the ones who see you at your best the most often.

But that’s not always the case.

Sometimes you find the most validation from others.
From outside of your circle.
From outside of your echo chambers.

And then we talk about validation of place and things get more complicated.
Because place holds story and emotions. And with these, comes baggage.
Place can hold intense dread and beautiful vibrancy.

So, hear this. We are an objective voice. We don’t walk on your sidewalks every day or see the small acts that make your downtown great and the community inviting.Nonetheless, we see you. We see the unique stories in your community. We see the potential in your downtown.

Because We know it.
We know it just as we know that each human is special.

Places, like people, are complex. Places, like people, need validation.

Isn’t it easier to love someone after you’ve seen another love them? You’ve seen their very best traits brought out and you’ve seen them shine due to this praise.

Place is very similar.

If a place is getting only criticism for being a dried up town with no jobs, high crime, little creativity and poor infrastructure, then you tend to see only those things very well. And it becomes your whole view of that place. If that same place is talked about for its rich history as a factory town, where a restaurant used to be visited from an hour around. This opens up the imagination and validation that this town can be something other than poor, old, dried up with no jobs.

How do you believe in your community? How do you instill validation where there might be very little to praise?

Community pride drives development in ways that don’t require grant money. You can be the one to believe in a place, and alley, an old forgotten garden plot. 

You can love a place back to whole.  

Need some pointers, resources, cheerleaders?
Shoot us an email! We’d love to hear about your ideas and help in your journey.