Hello, and welcome to my May Blog. Possibly one of my favourite months of the year for all sorts of reasons. We celebrate a much loved family member’s birthday in May, the weather is perking up, the trees are as Green as green can be and the Rose which I planted outside my house 22 years ago, once again, reminds me that there is nothing quite as perfect as Mother Nature.
I also love May because the word itself is so VERY underestimated. “May-be” is a great example. Maybe, is neither “Yes” nor “No”. It allows us a bit of time before making up our mind, and time these days is a precious commodity. I often think I have to come up with the correct answer in the form of Yes or No, when in fact, “Maybe” is the answer I’m looking for.
Another great way in which we can think about May is in “May I help you”? Often asked in the form of “Can I help you”? to which I suppose I would reply, “Yes, you can, but will you”? “MAY I help you” on the other hand, is so much more genuine, with so much more intent. I spend a lot of my time wanting to help others, it’s in my nature. I’m currently reading ‘The Mind of a survivor” by Megan Hine and the idea that being empathetic is crucial to our survival really resonates with me. Can empathy be taught? Is it a learned behaviour or something others have in abundance? We all have times in our lives when we feel another person’s pain and other times when our own lives are going through so many changes, and so much turmoil, that we must put our own needs first. “Fitting you own oxygen mask before helping others” really is crucial to survival.
Every day, I do my best to meet my own needs FIRST! If that means getting up 20mins early, then that’s what I try to do. The time I give to myself puts me in a better position to genuinely ask ‘May I help you?” as many times a day as I can. When I meet my own needs, I find that I can give more freely and readily to others. I can notice more of what is going on around me, and truly see what I might do to help. Helping others is helping to create a happier place to live, work and raise my family. If I open my eyes, ears and heart to what is going on around me, I can do my best to make a difference. Today, was a prime example of how “May I help you?” possibly saved a life, or certainly made a difference in somebody’s life today. Let’s make that two people, then three, then four and MAYne even more who read my story below.
This morning, on this fine May Day, I left my house, ready to jump in my car when I noticed an elderly man with his arms around a tree trunk at the end of my road. I noticed that he had a stick and that his legs appeared to be very weak. My car (actually, it’s a van) is often full of kayaking gear or camping chairs which I use to sit to watch my son play football at weekends. I quickly ascertained that this gentleman needed to rest his legs or he was likely to collapse. I grabbed my camping chair from the boot of my car, and slowly helped the man sit down to rest a while. During this brief interlude we chatted about where he lived and how he had sadly fallen earlier in the year, leaving him unable to walk far. “May I take you back to your home”? I asked. He replied that it would be so very kind of a stranger to do that for him. I replied that it was just one human being helping another one. The man was quite weak, and I knew I needed help in getting him from the chair to the seat in my car. With the help of a young nearby carpet fitter, together we slowly helped the gentleman into my car and drove him less than 1min around the corner. Could he have walked this far? Possibly, but probably not. When we arrived at his home, we navigated at least 20 steps to a first floor flat and by this time, the gentleman was exhausted, but grateful to be home. Three strangers from different generations all helping one another. The kindness of strangers indeed.
Today’s episode reminded me of so many things. To notice what’s going on around me. To ask ‘May I help you?” To ask for help when the job can’t be done single handedly. To understand that when the job looks like it might be finished, that it barely ever is. I’ll probably go and knock on the gentleman’s door later today to see if he has eaten, or if he needs anything. Life offers us many opportunities to build community, to build trust and to work together. “May I help you?” Maybe I can.
Thanks for reading my blog
See you again in June