This past weekend I participated in the 18th Annual Boyz Golf Outing. A few buddies and I began this tradition when we turned 40, after my best friend and cousin died at a young age due to leukemia. Recognizing that tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone, we decided to appreciate and enjoy the time that we have been given. These buddies, some I have known since my teen years, and their families form our “village.” This village allows for all members to learn and grow. They support one another through the good times and the bad, continuing to build on a foundation of care, both in and outside of our immediate families.
In the best of times, these tight village relationships double the happiness and joy associated with accomplishments and momentous occasions. There is not a sense of envy as others reach specific goals whether personal or professional. Instead, there is a reason to celebrate for all. When one member, or family wins, everyone wins.
However, it is in the worst of times, where one really sees the heart of the village. When one heart hurts, the whole village hurts. The difference is in the response. The village comes together, not in judgment, but in relief. This may come in the form of an understanding ear, a timely food delivery or review of a resume for a person who lost their job. Whatever the situation, the village makes it easier for the member to meet and overcome their current challenge.
The success of the village is built on a strong foundation of care. It begins with care for oneself, recognizing that you cannot take care of others, if you do not first take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. Care continues in support of immediate family members, understanding their individual gifts and challenges, helping them fulfill their potential. Then, as a family you can be there for other individuals and families in their best and worst of times.
It takes a village. It truly does. What do you consider your village? Is it defined by where you live? Or, work? The company that you keep? How do you and your family impact the village and how does the village impact you? If you want to double the joy of the best of times, while cutting in half the sadness of the worst of times, invest time and energy in your village. Your ROI will be more than you can ever imagine. One indication of our village success is in the fact that our LADZ have now joined the annual golf event, for the 4th year!
Enjoy the journey!