November/December 2022 Issue
Also in this issue: Remembering our Colleague - Mike May | Making a Difference | Remembering Mike May | Mike's Gal | A Municipal Law Tour de Force
Lawrie J. Kobza | 01.05.23
Mike May was an exceptional lawyer, advisor, colleague, role model, mentor and friend. He lived life in a way we all would like to emulate – intellectual interested, thoughtful, engaged, energized, and sometimes a bit outrageous. His obituary (which I understand he wrote) reveals he undoubtedly was successful in achieving his “ikigai.”
“Ikigai” (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that I just learned about. It combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth.” The combined term is often translated to “your reason for being.”
Ikigai is traditionally described by a diagram which shows your ikigai to hold the central position of four overlapping spheres that represent what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can get compensated for.
For Mike, his ikigai was the practice of municipal law. He loved the law, public policy, the political process, and the City of Madison. In his role as the Madison City Attorney he found the sweet spot where his skills and interests overlapped with what the city he loved needed.
After retiring from his position as City Attorney, he continued his attainment of ikigai by returning to Boardman where he provided other municipalities with his wise counsel, mentored younger lawyers, and engaged with his old Boardman colleagues from earlier years. We were so fortunate to be able to have Mike back with us.
We will miss him greatly. But we are grateful that he chose Boardman (twice) to be part of his ikigai .
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