How we approach support is up to us, explains Sunethra Jayaratne Nugawela
“Support” is a beautiful word in the English language. Every individual, including you and me, has been supported throughout their life by different people – family, teachers, school, college or university education, friends, interviews, jobs, turning jobs into careers, peers, colleagues, executives, medical personnel. So many varieties. Can someone say “I stood by myself”? Never. Somewhere down the line, from the labor anddelivery room to the graveyard, we have been comforted by another. Reciprocation is a responsibility.
My aim is to deliberate on this useful and sacred word. Support has a very deep meaning. It is about the relationships that people build as they share their own experiences to help each other. Support is mutually beneficial and a shared experience of relieving mental pain, removing mental distress and physical problems. This can be described as comradeship, that virtual or physical arm around someone’s shoulder to say we are a human being too and, despite the workload, we have time to talk and to offer help to someone who is struggling – to help us remember we also have feelings and get upset on bad days.
The Human Connection
Support helps us find hidden strengths and gives us confidence and happiness in our own life, which I think proves that with the right help at the right time, we can pretty much deal with anything. In support, people give a part of themselves and their experience in order to create connection and aid recovery. Support gives people the space to share what they are experiencing and truly feel heard. It is about helping people to recognize and realize their strengths and abilities, acknowledging that people may have problems, but these problems do not define their whole life, and seeing vulnerability as an integral part of being human and not necessarily as a weakness. People value support the most when managing emergencies. Knowing that you are not alone is a key element.
The Supportive Mind
The supportive mind is gracious. This attitude enables us to provide an empathic, listening ear. How we approach support is up to us, and there are many ways of providing support, including one-to-one (face to face or telephone), drop-in, groups (peer support or other activity, e.g. walking group), establishing a network, online, mentoring, research, and side by side.
Think of what Executive Support Media does. In my opinion, Lucy Brazier has been dreaming of a very powerful world with the word “support,” and she has made her dreams realities. It is her passion to support people in life, and she has a clear path of supporting Assistants. She has many areas of support. Executive Support Magazine, events, training, and AdminChat are a few areas which have benefitted Assistants all over the world. Lucy’s service to Assistants is admirable and we, as Assistants, must rally round to strengthen this mission further and further.
I have been a supporter, am still a supporter and am yet to be a supporter. I have received support from every walk of life, and I am on a mission to return that support. I am truly enthusiastic and enjoying my life by entertaining support.
Happiness is supporting people with a passionate heart.