Outer Circle of Penguins

Jack Jezreel writes: “As a species we have always known we could not survive, could not flourish, without each other. Whatever it is to prosper, grow, or multiply will only happen with the nourishment of people who are for each other in a significant way…”

“People who are for each other in a significant way…”

Isn’t that what we long for, as people? To have just a few people who are for us in a significant way. People whom we can trust. People who have our back. And people who can trust us and whose back we cover.

Outer circle of penguins

There is a wonderful example of this in the natural world, which I wrote about for Warcry in 2016.

“Emperor penguins huddle in densely packed circular groups for social connection and to stay warm…in Antarctic winter storms. Each bird leans forward onto a neighbour, providing warmth, protection and security. Young penguins are usually huddled in the centre of the colony where the wind chill is least severe, while mature adults position themselves as an outer circle. Adult penguins…shuffle slowly around the edge of the formation to then add themselves to the edge away from the wind…[so]..every penguin…gets a chance to be in the middle of this warm ‘group hug’. I first heard of the outer circle of penguins when a woman who was going through some difficult times described her friends as being like her ‘outer circle of penguins’ for her. Her friends provided the protection and warmth she needed at that time.”

My outer circle of penguins

My outer circle of penguins, those who are for me in a significant way, is not huge. There are those who are the closest to me – just two or three. Then there are those who would be there for me in a crisis but who cannot be part of my day-to-day life.

And then there are those who are a part of online communities like this one, who share their wisdom and expertise with me. They are not necessarily for me in the same way that my closest friends are. But they certainly help me grow and thrive as I learn from them and implement their advice. And all of them are of value to me. And, I hope, I to them.

Your outer circle of penguins

Who are the significant people who are for you? Who is in your ‘outer circle of penguins’? I’d love to get your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

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