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Building Support Together

Updated: Mar 22


 

In a world where personal success is often prioritised over human connection, the value of our network of family, friends, and loved ones becomes increasingly important. We need to recognise the significance of nurturing our relationships and the safety nets that catch us when we falter. This blog post seeks to enrich the theory of prioritising our connections by using research and notable examples to highlight the profound impact of community in our lives.


 

Understanding the Safety Net Around Us

 

To understand the safety net around us, we need to appreciate the people who support us unconditionally. These are the individuals who stand by us, independent of the hour or the convenience of their schedules. They form the first circle in an exercise that helps us visualise and prioritise our relationships. This circle includes the names of those closest to us. A partner's presence symbolises a commitment equivalent to two people, emphasising the depth of that bond. This highlights the profound impact of "WE" in our lives.

They form the first circle in an exercise that helps us visualise and prioritise our relationships. This circle includes the names of those closest to us. A partner's presence symbolises a commitment equivalent to two people, emphasising the depth of that bond. This is the core of building support together.


An illustration depicting three concentric circles representing layers of relationships around an individual, with proximity to the center reflecting the depth and intensity of each connection. The closest circle symbolizes intimate relationships, the middle circle includes close friends and family, and the outermost circle represents acquaintances and community connections.
Your relationships differ in intensity

"Imagine three concentric circles that represent the layers of relationships surrounding

an individual. The proximity to the centre of the circles reflects the depth and intensity

of each connection. The closest circle represents intimate relationships.

The middle circle includes close friends and family, and the outermost circle

represents acquaintances and community connections."


As we expand our view to the second and third circles, adding eight and them sixteen names, we're given a structured way to map out our broader network of support. This not only brings clarity to who constitutes our personal safety net but also offers us a strategy for nurturing these relationships. It becomes clear who we instinctively reach out to in times of need and who we would go the extra mile for without a second thought. This gentle, sympathetic clarification of our social circles serves not just as an exercise in organisation but as a heartfelt reminder of the importance of maintaining and prioritising these vital connections in our lives.

 


 

The Role of "WE" in Achieving Balance

 

Drawing from the tragic stories of individuals overwhelmed by their professional pursuits, such as the young worker sacrificing weekends for work or the leader returning to an empty home, we recognise a common thread. The quest for work-life balance is not just about managing time but about preserving the connections that enrich our lives. These narratives, mirrored in the lives of public figures from various spheres, underscore the universal need for a support system.

 

Four friends share a joyful picnic by a serene lakeside, embodying the essence of building support together. They are seated closely on a cozy blanket, surrounded by a spread of snacks and refreshments, engaged in animated conversation and laughter. The scenic backdrop of the lake and the warmth of their interaction highlight the importance of close relationships and mutual support, illustrating the blog's message on the significance of nurturing connections for a fulfilling life.
Recharging with friends

Research accentuates the significance of social support in decreasing stress, enhancing mental health, and even boosting longevity. A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that individuals with strong social ties exhibit better stress management capabilities and overall well-being. The profound connection between the legendary singer-songwriter Paul McCartney and the late John Lennon, members of The Beatles, showcases the creative and personal synergy that can emerge from a strong friendship.

Another example of a strong bond between two well-known business leaders is the relationship between Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Despite coming from different sectors of the business world, their friendship has grown strong over the years. They have been known to share not only personal moments but also to collaborate on philanthropic efforts through The Giving Pledge, an initiative that encourages the world's wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back. This friendship exemplifies how mutual respect, shared values, and a commitment to making a positive impact can forge a deep, enduring connection between individuals, even in the competitive arena of business.

 

Prioritizing Our Safety Nets and Building Support Together

 

The analogy of the egg, as mentioned in the base text, illustrates the balance between the core of vitality ("I"), the layer of connection ("WE"), and the outer world ("THEM"). It is in the nurturing of "WE" that our safety nets are woven, providing both a buffer against life's challenges and a source of joy and fulfilment. To neglect this layer is to risk the integrity of our well-being, leaving us vulnerable and isolated.

 

In practical terms, prioritising our safety nets means actively maintaining these relationships, making time for family dinners, weekend outings with friends, and regular check-ins with loved ones. It involves recognising the value of these connections over professional accomplishments or material success. The exercise of categorising our relationships into circles serves as a guide in this effort, helping us allocate our resources – time, energy, attention – where they matter most.

 

Conclusion: The Sustaining Power of "WE"

 

In conclusion, the essence of balance and well-being lies not just in personal achievements or the fulfilment of duties but in the richness of our relationships. The importance of "WE" – our safety net of supportive connections – cannot be overstated. By prioritising these relationships, we not only ensure a buffer against life's unpredictabilities but also enrich our journey with shared joy, understanding, and resilience. Let us, then, inspired by the wisdom of those before us and guided by thoughtful practices, weave our safety nets with care, ensuring a life not just of success but of profound fulfilment and belonging. The WITS theory is explained in an earlier blogposts: https://www.georgebegemann.com/post/maintaining-well-being

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