Hold on to your britches, this article is not about basketball. It is about something much more important than just five teammates. This point is more about you, me, and the people who we can count on in a crunch.

We would like to think that if we were ever in a serious bind, that we can go to that special person(s) and he or she would help us get out of our stressful predicament. I’m not talking about when you need to borrow a cup of sugar or a few extra potatoes to put in your homemade stew nor when you need someone to come and give your car a jump because you left your lights on overnight.

No, I’m talking about those times when the situation is so dire that you just want to run and hide. I’m talking about the more serious incidents that pop up and your palms start itching, your blood pressure shoots up, your head begins to throb, and your heart starts to beat so fast that you think that the big one is coming. The tough situations where your mind thinks that you are suddenly riding in the front of a roller coaster at Coney Island, your throat gets extremely dry from the pressure and stress, and you get this unbelievable urge to go to the bathroom quickly. These are the unexpected situations in life that are painful and you need help in order to get through them.

In reading multiple articles about relationships, which I enjoy doing, most of the experts agree that in the midst of these very difficult moments, there is only a handful of people you can turn to. Since these difficult moments can occur anytime, you need to know without a doubt who you can count on and who you can’t.

I would like to use the basketball team of five players as my analogy if you don’t mind.  As I look over all of the tight relationships that I have established during my life, I only have five people who fit this critical test of mine. Of the five, I feel strong about three of them. I’m pretty confident that they would come through if I were in a bind.  The other two, I believe that I can count on them, but there is a slight doubt in my mind. This is why I call these special individuals my “starting five”. They are my cornerstone friends in life and they are the most reliable people that I know. I’m not going to release their names, so don’t ask me, as that is private information and your starting five should be private too.

I want you to take some time and conduct a poll of who would be in your starting five. If you tell me that this is no problem for you, as you have over fifty people that you can definitely count on in an emergency, then that’s good for you. However, I have news that might make you question your answer.  Based on several studies performed by sociologists and prominent psychologists, you are probably not being truthful with yourself about these tight relationships. According to their studies, there is only a short list of people who you can truly count on in a true emergency.

I’m not saying that you don’t have many friends or that you don’t have hundreds of people who like you very much. You may even have so many personal contacts because of your outstanding personality that it is hard to keep up with them all. To me, this is all good, but what if you are ever in a tough spot and need to borrow money, need someone to take care of you while you’re sick, or need a babysitter for your kids because you have to go out quickly?  Who could you turn to if your car breaks down while you are out-of-state, you receive a 24-hour eviction notice, or you get that crazy call at night about your child and you are too nervous to drive to the hospital?  These examples may seem extreme, but they do happen and they occur more often than you think.

My intentions are not to scare the Holy Jesus out of you, but to let you know how important it is to treat those people who are in your starting five with love and affection.  We often take these relationships for granted and we shouldn’t.  I’m telling you this because I’m just as guilty of doing the same thing. Every now and then, I catch myself falling into this trap.  However, since it’s only five people, we must make sure that we stay in close contact with each of them so that we maintain our tight relationship.

In closing, keep a close eye on your starting five, as you never know when you will have to call them to help you get out of a mess.  Your special bond with these people doesn’t come around every day so don’t take it for granted. I know this now more than ever and you should too. In the event that you feel that you don’t have the right people in your corner, you still have time to get a new starting five before it’s too late. As in basketball, in the crunch, each player doesn’t have the same skill sets, but what they each bring to the table is very important to you. In the end, their help allows you to stay in the game, and that is what counts the most in an emergency.

What do you think about the starting five concept? Leave your comments below.