Support. What does this word truly mean?
Are we talking about making sure you have proper inserts for your arches, or a bra that fits well?
No, not that type of support. (however those are important too!)
I’m talking about how you support friends, how you rely on support from your parents, or advisers and mentors.
Support is crucial. There is a reason that in a 12 step program you walk alongside another, in therapy you have a physical therapist who forces you to do the painful stuff, or while studying for a tough exam you have your TA’s and your professors.
Support is something I think we often don’t think about and appreciate enough.
Let’s dive in.
Okay imagine you are under water scuba diving and you notice your air is running really low.
You know that if you surface suddenly you are risking the air in your lungs expanding too quickly and causing a rupture, or if you don’t allow the carbon dioxide to escape from your system you will likely be sick. So preferably the option of surfacing to gasp for air on top of the water is not your first choice.
What you should do is inform your scuba diving buddy you are running low on air and need to share.
I do not know a single person, best friend or stranger, who would not in that moment frantically give you their extra respirator so you could breathe.
Or imagine you are skydiving and after the initial descent and freefall from the plane you are unable to move. Your fear has overtaken you and you are unable to pull the parachute.
Your tandem buddy would not for a second pause to make sure you could move enough before they pull the parachute, they just would do it and then handle the situation after you land.
What do these two situations have in common? They both are adventure sports, yes, but they also both represent someone supporting someone in a tough situation.
In the same sense we need to support others. Through the tough things, we can’t afford time to pause and think about ourselves. We should give just as freely as we would our air underwater.
We shouldn’t care if they are our best friend, our mother, or a complete stranger, we are placed on this earth to help each other. Supporting each other through life.
I admit I don’t support nearly enough as I should and I am not always grateful enough for those who support me.
The dictionary defines support as “bearing all or part of the weight of” and “holding up.” How would our world look differently if we did this? How would Penn look if we took time to bear each other’s weight? How could your family look?
I challenge you, explore how you can support others and thank those people who have supported you.
Just like a good dancing partner, let’s be confident and support each other well.