It made me stop and think about how we are all seeking acceptance in this world. Even more so now that we are all looking for a few more +1s, comments, or likes. In some ways I think social media has made us all 13 year olds again, looking for that acceptance from our peers and basing our self worth entirely too much on what other people think of us. I happened to catch a few minutes of an interview last week--I think I was in the Dr's office, sorry I can't cite where-- and Oprah was being interviewed talking about loneliness and being validated by other people. She said the most brilliant thing. She said of all the interviews she's done over the years--politicians, movie stars etc, almost everyone would lean over after the interview and say "Was that ok? Did I do ok?" I found that to be astounding. EVERYONE is looking for validation in this world. And EVERYONE deserves to be validated.
I saw a wonderful TED talk this week about how to make those connections. It has made me think. You need to watch it.
There are lots of lists. Like everyone else, I worry about what lectures of mine are accepted, what events I'm invited to, who mentions me in an article, and how many people are on my social networks and who opens my newsletters and how many people come to my websites. If you are a hot shot in all those areas now, just wait, you won't be in the future. Life moves that way.
AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES FAMILY and FAMILY HISTORY SO IMPORTANT.
Those are where the most important and long lasting connections are. Everyone deserves to be validated but the world doesn't have the time or focus to validate anyone for very long. But, if you don't have a grandmother or a mother who thought you were wonderful, I hope you have a spouse or a child, a sister, a brother, a niece, a nephew, or a grandchild. Those are the connections that last. That is where the long lasting acceptance is--probably because they are stuck with you and most people work to make those relationships good over the long haul. In college I remember hearing about a parable (again--no chapter and verse--this is the blog post of missing footnotes). It was about a dragon slayer who went to work every day to slay dragons out in the world, but came home to their family every night. The family bound up the dragon slayer's wounds and healed them for the next day's battle. Those family relationships, those treasured family stories that give us self esteem, those are the places we find those healing balms. I think those are the real places that we should be worried about who we are and what people think about us.
On Twitter this week I mentioned that I've been working on ferreting out the fears that hold me back. Like everyone, I fear not being accepted, and I also fear social networking taking up all my time. I am so so thankful for this recognition. It has made my load much lighter. But I'm also going to make sure I spend enough time with my family today. I love you all. I LOVE this genealogy community. It has been a blessing in my life to have so many wonderful friends here. But my real worth lies at home. And so does yours.