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There seem to be so many changes in the world right now. COVID-19 appears to have disappeared practically overnight, with the news mainly focusing on the Ukraine. The horrors the people of Ukraine are facing, their efforts to escape, and what we can do to respond.

My employer has set up donation boxes in the office receptions. We filled a car with donations of warm clothing, nappies, wipes, soap, shampoo and conditioner, feminine hygiene products, and toothbrushes and toothpaste within 2 days. When the items were dropped off at a local donation centre we asked if there were any specific items which they either hadn’t received much of or if there was an updated list of required items. A new list was then sent around our office.

After reading the list I had a quick Google of where I could find a medically-graded torniquet, a colleague from a different team questioned why I was looking at this. My response was simple, if I can afford to help and assist where people are struggling and in need why wouldn’t I offer support in a way that I can. The response I received was that they wouldn’t be supporting or donating, because they didn’t want to.

I understand we all have our own reasons to offer help or support to causes we have close to our hearts. This could look like taking part in a 5k, 10k or even a marathon, if it’s braving the shave, organising a bake sale, donating online, or dropping a couple of items in a box.

I understand some people are unable to offer support to causes. I also understand some people don’t believe in supporting different charities and causes. However, I do believe in listening to reasons why others may have differing views to you. In the conversation I had my reasons were shot down, my views were not respected. I’m not telling people to sign up to fun runs or to clear out their kitchen cupboards. I only ask that people listen and actively listen to the reasons someone holds a different opinion to them…

Would you judge someone on their music taste?

Would you judge someone for liking food you dislike?

Would you judge someone for disliking food you like?

Would you judge someone if they didn’t wear matching socks?

Embrace the differences in personalities, character traits, for being just the way we are, individuals. We’ll have different views and that’s something to celebrate and embrace and learn about.

Can you start a conversation with someone with a different view to you?

Can you try a new activity?

Can you step into someone else’s shoes and try not to judge another?

Can you hold that open conversation and learn something new?

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