By: D. A. Slinkard
What kind of support system do you have? What kind of people do you have to lift you up when it feels the weight of the world is against you? If you cannot answer these questions, then why are you trying to go at life alone? Life is all about having the right support system. Take your house, for instance, in which the wrong support system leaves you living in a home with a weak foundation. The storm comes and then you see how well you can pray! Yes, I said pray.

Sadly, we live in a world that is afraid of offending someone, and we have backed ourselves into our little Christian corner with no way out, as we are surrounded in a world of sin. It amazes me how quickly our society has changed even in my lifetime, and I think about the Good Book and the scripture of Hebrew 13:8 which states, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” If it was an abomination to God 2,000 years ago, then according to Hebrews 13:8, it’s an abomination today!

I write all of that to come full circle to the support system. The first part of that support system begins with having God in your life and the relationship you build with the man upstairs. A few articles back, I wrote about having the right priorities, and in having the right priorities, it is imperative to make sure you have the right people surrounding you. The business books I read tend to suggest that if you want to know the character of a person, just look at the five main people they hang out with.

I’m just going to say that these books haven’t been wrong, as they have been pretty accurate when it comes to depicting the character of an individual. I’m writing this to suggest that either you need to reconsider who is surrounding you or you need to get some people to surround yourself with. I’ve been surprised at the number of people who try to go at life alone without seeking out the guidance of others.

For myself, my support system starts with God and then it goes to my wife. I can tell you that if I am in the dog house, then my demeanor changes and before anyone gets any ideas, I am not blaming my wife. I take full responsibility for the idiotic words that spew out of my mouth. Folks, I get in the dog house because I deserve to be in the dog house. Once I get out of the penalty box and I’m back in the good grace of my wife, my demeanor once again changes.

What I’m saying is that if you are not lifting each other up, then truly you’re just tearing each other apart. So make your spouse a part of your support system because they play more of an instrumental part of your success than you realize. Besides, if you are not lifting up your spouse, then you have a foundation that is weak. Maybe this is why 50% of all marriages now end in divorce.

The next portion of my support system would be Nick Garcia. He is a co-worker that happens to be the store manager for another location within Staples. However, I am able to bounce ideas off of him because he understands the work atmosphere. The next person who is a part of your support system needs to be someone from within your industry. This person can either be a mentor or a friend, and when I say mentor/friend, let me clarify something. Your support system needs to be with members of the same sex because mixing the two sexes on this type of support system tends to hurt the support system with your spouse. Ladies, gentlemen, just don’t do it.

The next portion of my support system comes down to my neighbor Billy Taylor and my father-in-law Denny Urhahn. They have seen the sunrise and sunset more than me, and they have something that I have not yet gathered. They have life experiences that I don’t have because they have lived longer, and we can all learn from those older than us. We need to humble ourselves to make ourselves ready to learn, ready to use a support system.

I challenge you to either reignite your support system or start up one and see how it changes your life. Remember, you’re only as good as the five closest people who surround you!
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

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