I think, to better explain myself, I had better explain how I grew up. I will start by saying that my life, though influenced by many relatives, has been very strongly influenced by my mother. Therefore? I blame her.
First off, I am the eldest of six children, raised by the youngest of six children, who was raised by a Roman Catholic couple who survived through the depression. Both of my grandparents were also from big families. My grandmother was from a family with nine children. My grandfather was from a family with nine children, as well. They grew up in small-town-ish communities, which created a closeness that has transcended generations. As such, I have been raised by a community-based family that places a high premium on togetherness and caring for each other.
Mamma always made sure that her guests were fed, had a beverage, and were comfortable. If someone came into the household, the first things they hear after the initial greetings were “Are you hungry?” and “Would you like something to drink?” Sometimes, there was the “Can I get you anything/something?” question. I, now, cannot sit down and visit until I am sure that my guests are cared for. They have a beverage, if they wish, and are not hungry. They are comfortable (as best I can tell), and definitely feeling welcome. I blame my mother.
I learned early and well how to cook for a large number of people (and often on a small budget). I actually found I have trouble cooking just for my husband and myself… we often have many leftovers. I try and make sure that my guests eat their fill, or at least aren’t starving while they are there. My mother’s saying rings in my mind as I type this, “It’s not my fault if you leave hungry.” Yeah… I am really kinda like that, too. I blame my Mother.
My Mamma is a nurse. I grew up with her helping others, kissing boo-boos, bandaging injuries, and caring for all manner of hurts with all the compassion and care in the world. She would always remind me that it is best to help if you can, and sometimes just being present and reminding someone they are loved makes all the difference. I cannot shy away from someone who is injured. Four times in the last six months I have responded to car accidents, announcing myself as First Aid/CPR Certified and making sure everyone is OK until Emergency Personnel arrives. I can’t just walk away from it, and have to do all I can to help. This goes for at work, too… even if it is just a band-aid, or (for coworkers, only) an ibuprofen/acetaminophen/sodium naproxen for their pain. I blame my mother.
I also cannot turn away from someone in crisis. I am a natural Empath (more attuned to others’ emotions than the norm), and it definitely effects my behavior. This has been accentuated by the care my Mamma shows every human being in her life, which has served as an example of how to live. I have to wipe tears (or at least offer a tissue). I have to make sure they are okay, or have someone coming that can make them feel better/help them out. It is not out of a “White Knight Syndrome” of being the hero. It is not wanting to see them hurt, and using all the tools at my disposal to help them. I blame my Mother.
I keep food, tea, and other supplies in my desk at work, in my bag, etc. I make sure coworkers and friends are fed, have had enough to drink, are feeling well, etc. Interestingly, they all come to me if they need food, tea, wellness supplies, etc. I think I am flattered? I blame my Mother.
I am not entirely good, yet, at treating everyone with the unconditional love they deserve. For this, I blame myself. My Mamma has been a wonderful example of how to care, live, and love. I learned, from her example, to treat everyone courteously and kindly. I learned to be polite, even when I am not 100%. I learned to make people feel included, to make them smile, and that laughter is really the best medicine. It is important for people to feel cared for. It is important to built cohesive teams with positive goals, reinforcements, and genuine positive connections.
For most of my positive traits, and most of that which people find wonderful about me, I blame my mother.