Self First, Others Second
Those who believe that helping others is a priority over helping self, have a hard time on airplane flights when the flight attendant says, “Put your own oxygen mask on first, before assisting others.” While there is much that is commendable about helping others, the truth is that helping others, will be short lived if you do not take care of yourself. This truth goes well beyond airplane flights and oxygen masks. If you don’t take care of yourself physically, you will not be physically able to care for others. If you do not take care of yourself emotionally, you will not be emotionally capable of caring for others. If you don’t take care of yourself spiritually, you won’t be able to spiritually care for others. Should we care for others? Absolutely, but caring for others at the expense of self is ill advised. Jesus said that we are to “love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Mark 12:31), quoted from Leviticus 19:18, and repeated by the Apostle Paul in Romans 13:9. The key word is “as,” meaning “not more than,” and implying love of self “as much as” others. So, try starting the day by giving yourself a big hug. Then start looking for ways to serve others.