Desperately Seeking Validation

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 16 2012 @ 10:26am

Brian Jay Stanley meditates on the all-too-human desire for others' approval:

At every stage of life, we desire to be noticed and affirmed by others. Infants are born craving affection as much as milk. Children playing do not require the active involvement of nearby adults, but if you try to leave they demand that you watch them play. Adolescents, in their perpetual anxiety to be popular, do not so much look at others through their own eyes as look constantly at themselves through others’ eyes. Those who are dying worry about being remembered after death, though when dead, how can they care if they’re forgotten? As adults, our successes give us little pleasure unless sweetened by others’ admiration. 

He concludes:

Instead of pointlessly cursing the sun to go around me, my chance of contentment is learning to orbit, being the world’s audience instead of demanding the world be mine.