Healing validations

In my early 20s, I decided that to think something good about somebody and not tell them is one of the saddest things going. I made a commitment to myself that I would not let these positive thoughts about others sit idle in my own brain. I rolled up my sleeves and started developing skills at saying good things to other people.

This quest to say good things to people has remained a central theme in my life. When I recently worked for four years as a cashier in a grocery store, I became known for trying to find some interesting, creative – preferably honest – good thing to say to each customer as they went through my line.

I even taught a class in customer service skills at the Earth Fare Westgate store in Asheville, North Carolina - that was all about validations. When, after taking a year off from that position, I went back to try to get my job back, Brandon the store manager – when he interviewed me – reminisced about that class.

He remembered it quite vividly: “Yeah, validating the customer – a core part of good customer service.”

I think I’m quite a hotshot at this skill. But this morning, some Appalachian guy made me see how timid my verbal appreciations of others may actually be.

(The little white car in the middle of the picture – currently maybe blocked in by the Coca-Cola truck – is the vehicle on which some Appalachian guy wrote “BEST WIFE EVER!” in soap on the back window of his wife’s car. What a guy!)


Published by


These days all of my identities are converging: whether I am offering a blessing in the grocery store checkout line, offering a prayer in a poem or experiencing the kinship with all life while walking my or a client's dog - it's all the same. It's all Life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s