I tend to be a lone ranger. Part of it’s my preferred work method; I work best when left to my own devices. Tell me where I’m supposed to go, then let me find my own way there. The other part is that I’m an introvert, and, as an introvert, I protect my space, be it mental, spiritual, emotional, or physical.
The past two years have shown me the dangers found in the lone ranger mentality, both personally and professionally. Journeying alone makes me vulnerable. I make decisions I shouldn’t and probably wouldn’t if I were surrounded with what I like to call “merry men.”
My merry men are found both locally and online, although my local band of men and women often is more intense than my online one. With my local band, we share the highs and lows of our weeks and our lives. We don’t have to be pretty with or for each other. In fact, we prefer ugliness and rawness. We aim to be genuine, both in sharing our needs, hopes, and dreams and in our caring for one another. Our conversations, then, range from the heights of silliness to the depths of discouragement and despair.
As I’ve journeyed with these men and women, I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone needs a band of merry men. Why?
- A band of merry men rallies around and behind you when you’re discouraged, sad, depressed, and hopeless.
- A band of merry men doesn’t mind that you have silly dreams. They also won’t deflate them. They may, in fact, encourage or enable them.
- A band of merry men will tell you when you’re wrong. They help you to maintain perspective. They also will help you to make the right decisions, and they will support you as you choose to pursue the right, albeit harder, choices.
- A band of merry men always, always listens first before giving insight into or advice about what you’re enduring.
- A band of merry men gives you the opportunity to encourage and empathize with people who are undergoing similar trials.
What do you think? Is a band of merry men important? Why or why not?
Photo: Viola Zuppa (CC BY NC SA 2.0)