Opinion: 'We can't help everyone but everyone can help someone'

A friend of mine has decided to offer a Ukrainian refugee a home and I am simultaneously both horrified and jealous.

Horrified because I worry about how he’ll cope and jealous because I wish I was as good and kind a person as he.

This chap works full time with a demanding job. He has elderly parents who he cares for, grown up kids who command his attention, quite a small house. And a dog.

This is not someone with time or space to spare in their lives. Yet here he is, giving up a room and his ‘fridge and telly and a chunk of his existence for a stranger.

‘He’s mad’, I think to myself. 'How well has this whole thing been thought though?' I wonder.

But in reality I am simply attempting to soothe my own conscience.

For I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I would struggle to do it.

I would struggle to actively choose to live with someone I didn’t know, to opt in to hosting a complete stranger about whom I know nothing and who knows nothing about me.

I worry about the language barrier, the cultural differences, the lack of privacy; above all I worry whether I would do right by a guest who may arrive traumatised and with nothing. I worry about the responsibility.

I appreciate that’s an appalling admission. I’m not proud of it, especially when, night after night our telly screens are filled with images of the devastation of a country and its people.

The old and the young, women and children - strangers to each other of course - gathered together in cellars as missiles rain down.

The inhabitants of once proud cities, now burning wrecks, fleeing in terror over broken bridges with nothing but their pets and their suitcases and the hope that someone, somewhere, will help.

Opinion: 'We can't help everyone but everyone can help someone'

One of those someones is my friend. And thank God for people like him.

I guess, though, that we can’t all be so selfless.

It takes a special person to open their homes to those in need and I, not one of them, comfort myself with the thought that kindness comes in many forms.

Despite what this country has been through in the last two years, the grief and the tumult, the anxiety and disruption, I can't be the only one moved by the charity that’s been on display for another country, so far away, going through so much more.

We remain a nation of givers.

Whether that’s kids raising cash from Tombolas or grandmas knitting woolly blankets for babies, lorry drivers crossing Europe to deliver medical supplies and volunteers rattling collection buckets in a supermarket, the united effort to help the Ukraine has been impressive.

Compassion comes in many forms. As long as you do something to help someone else in need - even if it's with a prayer or a donation of 50p - then that's what counts.

The fact is that we can't help everyone but everyone can help someone.

And every act counts. Click here.

Being a bluff Yorkshireman, my husband is not one naturally at ease with the concept of male grooming.

Shower gels are a mystery to him. Hair product does not touch his scalp.And if I suggested he microbladed his eyebrows he would probably divorce me.

So imagine my surprise when, with a birthday looming, he asked for some posh moisturiser as a gift.

At last, I thought. He is embracing a self-care regime which involves more than a bar of Imperial Leather. And so I splashed out a few quid on a nice brand and presented it to him gift wrapped.

Time went by. The swish bottle on the bathroom shelf remained apparently barely touched. My husband continued to look his age. And not to look like Tom Hardy - a claim not made by the manufacturer but I lived in hope

In the end I asked him how he was getting on with his luxurious unction.

“It’s made no difference,” came the blunt reply.

“My skin is still dry despite me using it once a week, regular as clock-work.”

I think it’s safe to say we have some way to go until he is a fully fledged New Man.

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