There are times when each of us needs to have the support of someone to get through a difficult or challenging time. I believe most of us have people who we know will help us out when we are in need. And I hope that each of us is prepared and willing to help others in their time of need. But how quickly will this help be rendered?
A short time ago I was traveling with my wife to see some of her family in the Boise Idaho area. It is about a 350 mile drive with several stretches of many miles that are sparsely populated. Sometime after crossing the Utah / Idaho border I saw emergency vehicles traveling in the opposite direction with their lights and sirens on. There were three different vehicles, a police car followed by an ambulance followed by another police car. But each of the emergency vehicles were separated by a few minutes.
I thought about how someone must be in trouble and in need of those emergency services, but there was a delay because of the distance from “civilization”. I was concerned that the emergency responders would not arrive in time to provide the needed assistance, and knew that there would also be further delays in getting the injured person to a hospital.
It reminded me of a time several years ago when my wife and I were walking down the street in New York City. There was also an ambulance trying to navigate through traffic with their siren on, obviously trying to care for someone in need. This time I expect that the emergency responders were physically rather close to the person in need. But my wife and I actually walked down the street faster than the ambulance was able to drive it.
So it seems that getting help to someone who needs it takes more than just being physically close to them. There must be a level of accessibility that goes beyond being physically close.
As I was driving along thinking, and on that drive there is plenty of time for thinking, I thought about how this can relate to our professional lives. There are times that we need help. We might have a difficult problem to resolve that we know others have faced. We might be in need of finding new employment. Or we might simply benefit from a talk with someone to share some insight or encouragement.
How close are those professional contacts or friends to you? I don’t mean physically, I mean emotionally. Have you maintained the relationships in good order so that you can call on others when needed and be of service to them in their time of need?
Today this does not require being physically close, we can easily maintain relationships across time zones and even national borders. I encourage you to take some time to reach out to people in your "network". Work to keep the relationships fresh and in working order. I believer this can make your life nicer every day and can really benefit you when an "emergency" happens and you need some quick care for others. Just as important, it keeps you in a position to help your friends in their time of need.