“Much of your strength as a woman can come from the resolve to replenish and fill your own well and essence first, before taking care of others.” – Miranda J. Barrett
If you have flown on a commercial flight before, you will most probably find the following scenario familiar:
You have finally boarded the plane, stuffed your (unwieldy) bags into the storage area above your seat and, as the Crew steps into the corridor to announce the emergency instructions, you start reading one of the magazines lying about….
No! Of course we all listen intently as the emergency instructions are presented by the pulling at, and blowing into, of various objects. In this context, there is one particular instruction concerning oxygen masks that I would like to draw your attention to:
“The cabin pressure is controlled for your comfort. However, should it change radically in flight oxygen compartments will automatically open in the panel above your seat. Reach up and pull the mask to your face. […] If you are travelling with children, or are seated next to someone who needs assistance, place the mask on yourself first, then offer assistance. […]”1
I have spent many years listening to – but not hearing – the underlying truth and scope of that one particular instruction:
Only once I have taken care of myself first, will I be able to tend to the needs of others.
If I suffocate to death while struggling to help someone else don their oxygen mask– nobody has been helped. Well, the other person has, but I still die; that is clearly not a win-win situation. Additionally, as I am ME, dying is like the worst thing that could happen, as a result of helping someone else.