The Power of Positive Relationships
  By Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

We all have heard the saying that behind every successful man there is a woman.  

Speaking in the lighter vein, have you heard the modified version of this saying, "Behind every successful man, there is a woman, very surprised?"  

Seriously speaking, recent research tells us that people, who beat the odds in spite of hardships, disabilities and adverse circumstances, often have someone who stands by them and provides them support and encouragement they need during the challenging times.  Many parents, family members, close friends, partners, teachers, coaches, mentors, counselors, youth leaders and church members play a crucial role in the successes and accomplishments of many challenged individuals.  Without such a support, encouragement, and inspiration, the challenged individuals might have given up a long time ago or, not worked so hard for any sustained period.    

Truly caring and loving people can provide rock solid support.  They have an unwavering faith in the ability of their loved ones even when the latter reach a crisis of faith and self-confidence.  Supportive persons help their loved ones to believe in themselves because they believe in them.  They help them to revitalize their hope in the future and rekindle their spirits to strive harder.  

I believe that this Nation's bill on disability and welfare could be cut in half if we all begin to provide unqualified support and encouragement to our loved ones who are challenged by their disabilities, illnesses, or some other adversities in their lives.  There are only two sources from which people can get the strength to conquer limitations: from within or without.  

Here is a true story.  Two people lost their sense of balance about the same time.  Their medical condition was identical: the brain could not get the information from the joints and the muscles to maintain balance while standing or walking.  One took to the wheel chair.  The other began to learn to balance by looking at his body and maintain the body balance through the visual information.  Where did the latter get his strength to persist and conquer the neuromuscular limitation?  From the power within and without. 

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Copyright 1996, Mind Publications

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