I'm the person who tries very hard to go the extra mile. When a friend has a baby or has surgery or is sick, I love to make dinner for the family and try to help ease the burden. If there is a fruit tree that a neighbor needs help picking, I am happy to help...I won't even ask for anything in return. If you need help building a chicken coop, call me and I'll be there in a heartbeat. Painting a room or two? Yep, I'd love to help. It's not fun to do these things on your own and I totally get that. I love to help others, just for the sake of helping. What are friends for anyway?
I have backed off a little recently. I had shoulder surgery late last year and while I hadn't asked for help, I had hoped that someone would bring my family dinner or call me and ask how I was feeling. I'm allergic to all pain medications, so recovery is quite painful for me. After a few days, I realized that no one was coming. No one was calling. Not one single person that I considered my friend even offered to make my family dinner or asked how I was. People that I had reached out to when they were in need did not do the same for me. I didn't expect much, but not one person showed the least bit of concern at all???? Then, about a week or so in, my neighbor, who I only briefly had met, insisted that she make dinner for my family. She's Chinese and I honestly had a hard time getting to know her at this point (we have since become great friends) because of the language barrier, but she helped me when I really needed it. I didn't need someone to make my family dinner. I needed someone to offer. I needed someone to show me basic human compassion and kindness. She did this. NO ONE else did. Not friends, not family. No one.
I had a really hard time with this. I don't have family of my own in the area other than my grandma, but she is in a nursing home now and I would never expect her to do what she would have done when she cared for me when I was a child. She showed me how people should act. She always cared for me as though I was her own child. I'm not even biologically related to her, but she always cared for me. It meant a lot and still does today. She was a wonderful example. So to be faced with the real world in this time of need for me was heartbreaking. I cried. A lot. I felt betrayed, abandoned, unappreciated and just plain like crap! I felt like not one single person cared. It was awful.
I'm slowly coming back around to my old self and trying to show kindness even though I know it will likely not be returned. I'm okay with that. I've come to terms with the way the world works. I needed a little time to calm down and be at peace with myself again, but now I'm back on track and ready to spread the love. I NEED to teach my children to give just for the sake of giving. Not because they are going to get anything in return, but because it's the right thing to do. My life's mission needs to be to spread support and kindness, not anger or fear. I want to unite and support, not divide and belittle. Who's with me??