Often involved in projects or events that are better carried out with the support of others, I have grown to appreciate and “need” my friends, family, and their extended loved ones. Having acknowledged this for a while, the idea of support systems has been further reinforced during the past 6 months of my life.While at my most recent performance as a featured poet, the crowd was filled with people who believe in my talent, and those who had never (or rarely) heard me perform. Just thinking about the people who took time out of their busy schedules, and spent gas money to get all the way to The Cafe, evokes tears. Walking into the venue and seeing the faces of those who did not RSVP was an added joy; having only received a few RSVP’s, it meant a lot to know that my priorities were on the radar of those that I felt were distant.Text messages of those that could not be in attendance, or a simple “good luck tonight”, made a world of difference in my confidence and pursuit of this artistic endeavor. But support from loved ones is needed in more than the arts.
About a month ago I was discussing a plan of action for one of my friends who is pursuing singing with her manager (who is also a close friend). At a point in the conversation I asked the manager, “what are your goals?” She immediately started describing the goals she has for our singing friend. I had to stop her and say “no, I’m talking about you.” She quickly shared with me a few of her aspirations and shortly after, we continued to discuss our singing friend. Recently, the manager informed me that she had begun to pursue her goals again simply because my questions jogged her passions. Support comes in many shapes and forms. Sometimes it is “I support what you are doing” and at others it is “I support who you are”.
I believe that encouragement, inquiries, forwarded emails, a quick tweet or Facebook post, text message, recommendation or referral, almost ANYTHING that lets someone know “I know who you are and what you are trying to do, and I support that”, IS support.
I am sure busy schedules can sometimes get in the way of displaying support, but I have found a few ways that help ensure I show support to those I am close to, or just simply believe in.
1- Use automated systems. For example, my friend was recently in a singing competition. Throughout the week, I wanted to make sure there were a bunch of tweets encouraging people to learn more about her and to attend her performance. I used socialoomph to schedule my tweets so that each day no matter how busy I was, I still achieved my goals of support.
2- Mark the calendar. I trust that my memory will fail me when I need it most. So I make it a habit to send myself calendar reminders to do what may seem small to me, but what I know is grand to someone else. My calendar reminder may read “call X to see about interview” on the day of a friends interview.
3- Share resources. If I am on Craigslist and I come across something beneficial for someone else I know, I immediately send that person an email with the link. I would hope others are able to do the same for me.
These are just a few ways that I show support for others. What are some tactics you have used to show support or that have helped you feel supported?
Below is a link to a short article that discusses the importance of being supportive to others. http://www.selfhelpgrowing.com/being-supportive.htm
Also, here are various links to my recent performance. There is only one performance, but you can listen on your preferred source.
http://www.chaoticarts.org/thecafe/mp4podcasts/the_cafe_mp4_podcasts.xml (podcast/xml link)
http://www.chaoticarts.org/thecafe/the-cafe-material-listing.htm (click recorded features on this link to The Cafe)