This month one of the topics we’re talking about is help. One of the concepts and sayings that everyone knows but many still struggle with is that of putting on your own oxygen mask before putting one on your child or whomever is in the situation with you. Especially recently we’ve been hearing and talking about all of the natural disasters going on around the US from multiple hurricanes to fires. One of the things that was noteworthy to me was how many people didn’t take the recommendation of getting out while the getting was good and called for rescue during or immediately after the dangerous storms. For the storms that followed the first storm, it was made clear that once it was too dangerous rescuers weren’t going to be coming out no matter how many times you called until it was safe for them, which makes a lot of sense because you can’t be rescued if your rescuer is dead, right?
Yes, there are times that being selfless or giving of yourself and your resources can be beneficial. There are tons of people around the US who are incredibly thankful for the donations that were made in response to the hurricanes. Some people who made donations didn’t have much to give, but they chose to give anyway because someone else had greater need than they do. But there comes a point in time that you have to stop giving selflessly and recharge and take care of yourself.
One of the biggest areas that you’re responsible for in this regard is your own happiness. Yes, if someone gave me a dog I would be happy (unless it fit inside a teacup). Yes, when I see my partner I’m happy (almost all the time). Yes, I’m happy when I read a story in the news about how good triumphed or someone was saved or rescued. None of those things am I really creating or able to influence, but they make me happy. But since the universe isn’t giving out dogs at the moment, I don’t spend all day every day with my partner and the news is full of lots of other types of stories, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of my day that isn’t influenced by those 3 things, which means that if I want happiness in the rest of my day I’ve got to do something about it.
No, I’m not pretending that every moment will be good, there are lots of challenges, both large and small, we have to face each day. That’s the way life goes right now. But we can choose to have a good attitude, take the high road and look out for ourselves and others. You can either help yourself be happy, safe, fulfilled and healthy or do your best to hurt the world. And you don’t just hurt the world by throwing bombs, killing people, or defacing national monuments, you hurt the world when you’re so self-centered that you no longer do anything to help others be happy, safe, fulfilled and healthy too.
Today I encourage you to take a step back and consider what your life needs right now. Do you need to take a step back for you and focus on yourself for a time, or is it time to step up and help others?
“I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness…” Jane Austen