East Cork Journal Weekly Column 22-Nov-2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News

Try a little kindness
As I sat down to write this report, a news article on the radio was reporting that today is World Kindness day.  This got me thinking that while it’s a good thing that we have a World Kindness Day, realistically everyday should be kindness day.  There are plenty of little sayings like ‘It’s nice to be nice’, or ‘It costs nothing to be nice’ and these are all very true, however I believe that in addition to not costing anything, there is a kindness dividend too. Every time we do something nice or kind for someone we know, or even someone we don’t know, we feel better about it too.  So can I suggest to you all that you actively carry out a ‘Random act of kindness’ for someone every day as you go about your business. If it’s only to hold a door open for someone as they pass through or pick up something that someone else has dropped, just do it. You’ll both feel better.

Dam Easy Flood Barriers
A few months back it was well reported locally that our Men’s Shed was giving something back to the community by installing ‘Dam Easy’ flood barriers at houses in the Midleton area that are particularly susceptible to flooding.  The recipients were delighted and hugely relieved to get these quick, easy to install devices to protect their homes from future flooding. The good news is we hope to be in a position to present and install another small batch of these barriers in the coming weeks, to other flood-prone households that meet the qualifying criteria.  As soon as we have definite dates for the arrival of the flood barriers we will make it known here and on our facebook and twitter pages.

Dam Easy Installation

Our Men’s shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre.  We welcome new members, and if you would like more information you can contact us by email at [email protected]
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MidletonMensShed2018

Give a little – It will help a lot

For years this slogan, "Give a little, it would help a lot" has been on posters and radio and television adverts and at different times of year it wase seen and heard more often than at other times. In my memory, one of the times was Christmas, and even though I mightn't have seen or heard it for several years, I was reminded of it last evening.
Nowadays there's a lot of talk of secularism and the loss of spirituality in society, people may have turned away from the church for a variety of reasons, but they still have a lot of love and giving in their hearts.
This was driven home to me as I went to my local blood clinic to make a donation. It had been over a year since I last gave blood, for no particularly good reason, probably the time they were in the area didn't suit me or maybe I didn't know about it, however I was made aware of their being in the area this time, so no excuses.
The clinic in Midleton was scheduled to begin at 5pm, so I decided I'd get in early and avoid the crowds, however as I walked through the doors, I saw at least 20 people in front of me who all had exactly the same idea.

For a moment my heart sunk, but then I copped on and saw how brilliant this was. On a dark November evening a crowd of volunteers had gathered to donate their blood to help save someone else's life, and I was fortunate and privileged to be able to do do this. I joined the queue, and there was banter and talk of the weather and the queue, all in good spirits, and once the queue started moving, it progressed quickly. All the while people were joining the queue, arriving after busy days at work, and still willing to take the time to give of themselves in the most literal and practical of ways.
At each stage of the process from check-in to blood test, to transfusion to refreshments, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service Personnel were genuinely thankful to all of us for making the effort.
As I left the blood centre, walking into the wind and rain, I was energised by the amount of goodness that exists in society. Much of the time, we only hear bad news in the media, however there is plenty of goodness and love and good people all around us everyday. People doing good and not broadcasting it.  I fully understand that not everyone is in a position to give blood for a variety of very valid reasons, and I'm sure they have their own ways of giving, quietly, just as the blood donors I encountered in Midleton last evening.
Our Men's shed is a little bit like this, men getting together in a safe environment to help each other. Through chatting and working on projects we build self confidence, learn new skills and with the synergies created from combining life experience and wisdom, we can help each other to acquire the knowledge to improve mental wellness and in doing so improve all of our lives in small or not so small ways.