I wonder why people think this is selfishness. I had thought the same too for a while but I was wrong. I came to this realization after a lot of travel on the airplane. Every time I listen to the pre-flight safety instruction, my reaction is always the same (fear, anxiety and whatnot). But there’s something that got me thinking in the flight attendant’s instruction which is—put on your oxygen mask first before you help others (kids).
I kept asking myself, “why?” In my last travel, I came up with a succinct answer. Because if you run out of oxygen, you won’t be able to help others with their oxygen mask. This literally means that you can’t give what you don’t have.
This principle applies to our daily lives not only on airplanes. If you don’t take care of yourself very well, you won’t have the strength to take care of others. I’m not saying that you should lose empathy and be totally selfish, but my point is you can’t make a difference if you’re not changing yourself. When you’re alright, there are chances that others will be, too.
Don’t ignore yourself when you need help yourself. Just take care of yourself first. If you do this with the hope of helping others, then you’ll go places (make a difference and create change).
–MOAB © 2015