Save Yourself First
The title of this post sounds selfish. Doesn’t it? But it’s not, and it’s probably one of the healthiest things we can do as individuals and as a society. From time to time, how many of us get that heroic instinct to “save the world?” I know I have. And we get so busy trying to solve problems and fixing others, that we forget to take care of ourselves and straighten out our own issues.
We can see this phenomenon more easily in others, like: the peace activists who attack the police, the folks trying to save the planet while driving gas-guzzlers, or the preachers of morality who behave poorly themselves. It’s easier to see others’ faults and want to fix them, than to do the hard work of fixing ourselves first.
We see this behavior with religious fundamentalists; trying to control other people’s thoughts and actions. Using the power of religion in the service of their own egos; creating laws and rules for how other people should behave.
There is a quote from the Bible that says, “It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities.” (Proverbs 16:32) Yet how many “believers” want to control others, but are out of control themselves. The terrorists of today’s news headlines are perfect examples.
When it comes to how we live our lives, perhaps we should follow the safety advice we get before an airline flight takes off. “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first.” Then we can function with a clear head, and hopefully help others.