Dealing With a Dilemna

The Aircraft Dilemna

I was cruising around the other night on Spaces, just checking out (at random) new people’s blogs using the Updated Spaces window you can find on some people’s blogs. I always read a few entries and leave comments. I am obsessed with commenting (They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step).

I came upon a young man’s blog. He was quite young. Fifteen, I think. His life was full of problems, and he wrote about them with unabashed honestly. The thing that struck me about this fellow is that he seemed to be more concerned about his best friend.

I wont get into specifics, but an analogy will bring light to my point. Imagine a person has been poisoned, and they have a limited amount of time to live. They are running to the hospital, but yet they stop to help another person pick up a bag of groceries they just dropped. It’s rare to find that kind of fearless selflessness these days, especially in the young.

I left a small comment that I hope he will take to heart: It is important to help yourself before you can help another.

It’s important to remember that if we are not in the right frame of mind (or body), it’s tough to help someone else. Certainly it can be inspiring, and probably perceived as a bit selfless as well. However, the less we take care of our own needs the less time we will be able to help others. It’s a simple fact. Perhaps an analogy is in order…

If you have ever flown on a large aircraft, you will probably remember the safety presentation at the beginning involving decreased cabin pressure. Oxygen masks are supposed to drop from the ceiling for your use. If you have children they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on yourself first, and then put one on your child.

I remember the first time I saw this. It was counterintuitive to me. Upon deeper inspection, though, it made a lot of sense. That few extra seconds that you spend on helping yourself may cause your child to lose consciousness, but then they’ll have the mask and all will be fine.

The alternative is that you put the mask on your child, and then you lose consciousness. If your child doesn’t know how to help you, you are out of luck. Your child will be robbed of a parent.

This simple logic applies to everyday life.

It’s good to help others, but make sure you are in a position to do so. Helping yourself will make you strong enough to help out others in a more effective manner. It’s not selfish. Nor is it wrong.

Take care.