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L J Hippler

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Member Since: Feb, 2007

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A Little Validation
11/16/2010 6:01:23 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

In the days after 911 cadaver dogs were worked around the clock, sniffing out bodies in the rubble that was the World Trade Center towers. As weeks passed, ever fewer bodies were there to be found. And their handlers, seeing the dogs becoming discouraged and depressed, tried something new. Workers would take turns hiding under the broken concrete and steel until one of the dogs found them. It worked amazingly well. The exhausted animals responded immediately and couldn’t wait to begin their work shifts.
The cadaver dog story is touching in many ways. But I think it primarily illustrates what a basic need we have for validation, we being just about everything that breathes. Countless employee surveys have shown that a simple thank you can be as fulfilling as a raise. Funny how a little thing like a thank you, a positive comment or even a smile at the right moment can seem to affirm us, tells that what we’re doing is right, that the way we’re living that particular day has value.
I don’t know why we don’t do it more often. If someone does a good job why not tell them so? If you have a positive comment in your brain why not step up and say it out loud? Little things don’t just mean a lot; little things, in the grand scheme of life, can sometimes be huge.
“Man, that’s a really clean car,” the service manager called to me as I walked out after an oil change this morning. “Let me know if you ever want to sell it.” A little thing. A spur of the moment comment to someone he didn’t even know. But I felt good the whole drive home in my aging Eclipse.
Maybe this afternoon I’ll find an opportunity to pass that feeling on. I hope so.

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More Blogs by L J Hippler
•  A Little Validation - Tuesday, November 16, 2010  
• Curb your enthusiasm – but let the bigotry fly. - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
• Best Case, Worst Case and Most Likely - Monday, December 29, 2008
• On Hotness - Sunday, November 16, 2008
• The Week That Was - Sunday, October 12, 2008
• When-and Where-You are Gaius - Monday, September 15, 2008
• Dialog - Monday, August 18, 2008
• Recession, Economics and Dead Men Walking - Wednesday, July 16, 2008
• There’s No Place Like . . .Where Your Stuff Is. - Monday, June 30, 2008
• A Little Validation - Thursday, June 05, 2008
• Money, Class and Living Well in Fiction - Thursday, May 08, 2008
• LIVING small - Monday, March 31, 2008
• Who is bigger-than-life? Who’s not? - Friday, February 29, 2008
• You write what now?” - Thursday, January 31, 2008
• About last night . . . - Monday, December 31, 2007
• Here's the thing . . . - Thursday, November 22, 2007

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