Dale Carnegie said it best... Of the basic needs, a feeling of importance is probably the most critical to our survival, and how well we flourish. Knowing that you matter to someone carries more weight than the basic desire for food, shelter or water. And we can all probably measure this, or recall a time when we gave up on one of our needs to do something for someone we loved, or really liked. But I'd like us to consider some alternative language to what Dale Carnegie said, and that is we all need fans!
To start, what is a fan? Having grown up watching the Oklahoma Sooners play football, I'd argue that a fan isn't someone who praises you no matter what! Nope, a true fan, calls you out, angrily when you do something incredibly stupid. What's more, they may not stick around to watch you do it again! A true fan isn't always on your side, but they want to be. Fans keep us in check. But beyond the semi-negative aspects, fans are truly our biggest advocates!
Everyone has Mom, and hopefully, she was/is your biggest fan. I'd argue the ideal Mom (caring, but concerned that you do right with your talents) is the archetype of the best fan. One who will carry your banner to congress if necessary, but be the first to point out your shirt is wrinkled, or that your socks don't match. Fans, like our Moms, encourage us, keep us going, mind our faults and remind us to push through - no matter what! We matter to our fans, and that's what keeps them around - even through the stupid stuff!