Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites have large followings. This is a reflection of the basic need of human beings for love and fellowship as well as the need to feel as part of something bigger than ourselves.
We are social creatures. We need each other, to form strong bonds. We need the safety net of social support systems when other areas of our lives come crashing down.
Several years ago a home was burnt to ashes, leaving the family with no possessions. All clothing, food, school supplies, appliances and everything else in the house were destroyed.
There was an outpouring of love from a variety of persons. This love was practical, consisting of donations of food and other supplies. It came from other relatives, community members, friends and well-wishers, their children’s school fraternities, local government representatives and churches.
The family had all the support they needed to survive, eventually re-build a home and to carry on with life in a relatively short time. The ability of that family to withstand and overcome their adverse situation was greatly enhanced by their external support systems.
Similarly, when natural disasters strike, nations come together to assist those undergoing the misfortune. When Haiti and the Dominican Republic were hit by separate hurricanes some years ago, the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago graciously and generously assisted them.
The point is that we do not exist in isolation. We need to support each other and we need support from others to survive and thrive.
By working and playing together, our bodies produce hormones such as dopamine and serotonin that promote feelings of well being.
Supportive networks help us differentiate between what is and is not important.
Through our interactions with diverse people, we learn and improve skills that help us stay afloat during difficult times.
Just as we are advised to back up our computer systems, we need to build relationships as our human back-up systems when tragedy strikes.
Tell me, do you have a strong support network?