Can I or May I?

As a teacher, there are many different phrases you hear on a daily basis. Following is a conversation I overhear pretty often.

Student: Can I go to the bathroom?

Teacher: I don’t know, can you?

Student: *ugh* Maaaay I?

The first few times I heard this, I just laughed at the memories that it brought back from my years in school. After a few times, I started to think about the idea of “Can I” vs. “May I”. I realized that those of us that live with a chronic illness don’t have the luxury of asking, “May I”? Much of the time, we are forced to ask ourselves, “Can I?” For example, instead of asking, “May I go dancing with you?”, you are forced to ask, “Can I handle the dancing? Can I handle the pain the next day? Can I get home if I get hurt? Etc.” For those who have chronic pain or illness, the idea of “May I” may not even exist. However, it is important to remember that not all days are bad and that eventually you will have a day that you can ask, “May I?”

Remember zebras, enjoy the EveryDay Successes!