Support Systems

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If life is a game and we are the players, it means we need a strategy to help us navigate it. It’s a difficult game, one with many surprises and unforeseen challenges. A game with multiple “innings” each testing you on a different subject. At some points you learn a new trick to use in the next part of the game and slowly we become better at playing. As we level up and gain points, we’re forced to make hard decisions, decisions that could easily affect the final score. But then we get to a point where we start to write the rules of the game. We start to question the game and ask why it is we have been playing it this way for so long. That, is where the real challenges start. At that point it becomes up to us how we choose to proceed. Do we take risks and push new boundaries, or do we simply sit back and just do what we already know works? It is at this point in the game where we begin to have doubts. Doubts about our futures, and the impact that one incorrect decision could have. We sit on the fence and debate over and over in our minds every possible outcome. One of the reasons for this is that we are subconsciously worried about what others might think if we were to take the leap of faith, and fail.

This is all assuming that this game is played as an individual, with no one to ask for advice or ask for help. What we too often fail to remember is that we can build teams, teams that help us navigate the game, and capitalize on the collective skill set we have individually developed. Teams support one another, they have each other’s backs regardless of the outcomes. This is what allows each individual team member to push themselves a little harder, because they know that they have the support of their companions regardless.

In life we build relationships. Those relationships are not only social, they are an intricate network that operates as the infrastructure for our existence. When that infrastructure collapses, we end up losing our motivation to keep playing. Suddenly, the support we expected from those around us is gone, and no one is there to help us re-contextualize our ridiculous ideas, or help us find resolutions as to why they didn’t work. Support systems are more than friendships. They help us progress, they help us challenge ourselves, ultimately empowering us to move out of our comfort zones and tackle the unknown.

Being a supportive person does not mean you shower people with naive positivity. Supporting people comes with the expectation that you can help them carry a bit of the weight they’re trying to carry on their own – within reason. A single column in a building is not enough to support the whole structure, but a field of columns does the job beautifully. In a world that asks of us so many questions that we often don’t know the answers to, find a way to be supportive to those around you as they try to figure it out. Support takes many shapes and sizes, and the smallest gestures can go a long way to helping somebody fulfill their dreams. When somebody approaches you with a seemingly ambitious idea, do not turn them away with pessimism, rather join their excitement and support their ambition. We often times forget that our response could be the difference between them giving up, or them finding a way to turn those crazy dreams into realities.

On the field of life we all have our roles. Individually, our roles are obsolete, but together, we can play a beautiful game. A game where we all rise as champions of our own lives. Support is a system – a system embedded in the aspirations we have for each other.

Having said all that, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey since founding ZULUECHO Lifestyle Initiative and beyond. To those people that wear the brand, you are not only wearing my clothing, you are bearing your part of the message. You are an ambassador for a mindset that can help people believe in themselves, and that makes you not only a vehicle for change, but an inspiration to those you encounter. To those who share a ZULUECHO Initiative Film, or repost an article, you are helping give a voice to many who may not have the courage to express their frustration or see past their hardships. What we have created, together, is a team – a team that believes in one another, a team that supports one another. Without the support you have all given me, this work would be impossible – so I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

#strongertogether #zuluechoinitiative

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Maissa Hamed says:

    Very nice article and I loved the link to the columns Bravo

    maissa hamed

    Senior Education & Research Consultant, NY Former Program Officer, UNICEF Founder, Enjoy Islam, Poet, Author: From One Lover’s Heart to Another: Forty Sufi Poems The Last Night of Ramadan



  2. Ms.B. says:

    Run for a political office. Now.

    Liked by 1 person

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