Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 18th October

Guess where I was again yesterday? At the doc’s rooms having the drain pumped – again!

What joy!

This morning, though, it does seem to be working – after being in for 12 days and getting blocked every day for the last 6…

It’s always interesting to see, when you have something wrong with you, how people react. (This being me, who is fascinated by people.)

There are a number of reactions. (I suppose this is to be expected, given that we are all different and how boring would it be if we  all reacted the same? Or how overwhelming it could be!

So, the reactions include an overwhelming rush of interest and concern, then nothing, or next-to-nothing; ongoing concern and interest; the occasional, targeted question with nothing in-between; a desire to be really, really involved; intermittent inspirational messages; almost no reaction; and the advice.

The last reaction is the most taxing in many ways, I think. It seems the mission of some individuals to give their 10c worth (or more) so that they, personally, can give you the one (path to) complete cure.

Which is all very fine and well, as long as the advice is given freely with no expectation and not that intensity that demands acquiescence and acknowledgement of the efficacy of the option.

In the movie Madagascar, Skipper, one of the penguins, repeatedly advises his colleagues to ‘smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.’ To me, this is the best advice ever. And something that comes naturally to a Drama person like me. It’s also not something that everyone understands, though.

People want to help. Some people. And they feel either the desire to offer something they feel passionately about, which they are convinced holds the key, or they want to give in some other way – usually in a much more practical way, or by offering an activity to distract or cheer up.

Not every offer can be accepted. Not every offer needs to be accepted. It is in the making of the offer that the value lies – for the giver as much as for someone like me. What you need to do is simply say,  “Thank you” and accept what you need at the time.

There is a saying that goes: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’, which I agree with and one of the reasons why I like Christmas so much. (Don’t be fooled, though, I do also like receiving my own share 😉  )

There should be a corallary, though, that says something like: ‘It is even more blessed to be received than simply to give.’

It is so important to acknowledge that which is offered.

It is not about simply making the giver feel better and vindicated in the knowledge that they have done the right thing. It is about them being seen as an individual with something to offer, some moment of input and some sense of having contributed to a better experience and a more positive outcome.

It doesn’t matter if I use what people offer / give me or not, the value for both of us lies in the moment of giving and receiving.

Then we both win.




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