The importance of a village
"Do you have a village?"
Last week I was in the ICU, 90 minutes from home, after a horrific car accident. I was facing a heart surgical procedure that might lead to full open-heart surgery depending on what they found. I was scared, really scared! I did have the procedure, resulting in 8 staples down my chest, but I lost confidence in the doctors that were treating me. I needed to be transferred to the right hospital, closer to home. But there were many barriers in the way. Thanks to my kids, friends, former co-workers, club members, fellow board members, neighbors, etc… I was ultimately transferred, seen by the right doctors, released from the hospital and headed on the road to recovery. But the support of my village didn’t stop there.
For the next 2 weeks, friends organized meal drop-offs, drove me and my husband to doctor’s appointments, made grocery runs, arranged in home massages, and basically made it possible for me and my family to recover relatively quickly. That is the value of a village and I am so very thankful. But villages don’t spontaneously form. Villages are created.
I’m an ambitious, competitive, driven individual. But I consistently make time to help and support others around me. These are not mutually exclusive traits. Through these actions, I’ve been cultivating a village for years. A good friend put it well when I thanked her. She said, “Shellye, I’m not doing anything that you wouldn’t do for me or others”.
As you are striving forward, building your career, company, or influence, make the time to invest in others and create your village. You may never need it, but knowing it’s there provides a solid base for building your life.