Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Word for Today - Validation

Now that I have stopped dancing about the election Tuesday, and gotten another day to sleep off the fatigue of working at the polls during this very critical contest for America and the world, and read all the blogs about what it meant for so many on a very personal level let me just I believe Obama's victory was validation for all I have believed since my idealistic youth.

Yes, we can change the direction the world is going. Mom, would have said it was going to Hell in a handbasket. I frankly at times felt more like I was in one of those mining cars in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

So my word for today is validation. Complicated word. It seems to be used by engineers and computer scientists and a whole host of other technical trades. For the complete list of what validation can mean I refer you to Wikipedia. Enjoy. After a quick scan and then more in depth spot reading that was totally off point I found what I wanted:

In psychology and human communication, validation is the reciprocated communication of respect which communicates that the other's opinions are acknowledged, respected, heard, and (regardless whether or not the listener actually agrees with the content), they are being treated with genuine respect as a legitimate expression of their feelings, rather than marginalized or dismissed.

In case you missed it that was what President Elect Obama and Senator McCain did in their respective speeches on Tuesday night. It is what we need to continue to do in the years ahead. GW Bush and his administration contantly marginalized or dismissed the opinions of others. It made us angry then it made us fearful.

I am reminded of the time riding in the passenger seat of my brother's sports car and telling him he was in the wrong lane. The first time I thought he had not heard. But thinking it was important because the lane in question was the parking and unloading lane on a very busy street and their were vehicles parked in it up ahead I said it again.

He told me he was driving and I should shut up. Well, as soon as we slipped the MG under the semi truck trailer ahead I thought that would be a foregone conclusion. Decapitated you cannot talk. So I screamed at him that he needed to get to the left lane or slam on the brakes. He finally saw what I was so excited about and we narrowly avoided an accident. But he had to dis me afterwards by reminding me he was driving. I asked him to stop the car and I got out. I was five miles from home from my house and had to call a cab to pick me up but I never rode as a passenger in his car again.

This is frankly exactly how I have felt the last eight years in the United States. I would have called a cab if I had known just exactly where I wanted it to take me beyond away from here. And I live about as away from here as you can live and still be within the boundries of the United States. This campaign process was my last attempt to get anyone's attention about where we were heading. And I felt so validated when from the podium those running for office acknowledged where we were heading.

I was scared to death of McCain winning because as we neared the back of the economic truck parked before us he did what GW has done for years and said, "The underpinnings of this economy are sound." I am not an economist but I knew that was wrong two years ago.

I think as we move forward (having changed lanes) it is important to not invalidate anyone's opinion. We need to concentrate on "
reciprocated communication of respect which communicates that the other's opinions are acknowledged, heard and respected. . . ". We are going to have to work together if we are going to avoid a train wreck the like of which they world has never seen.