If you have ever taken a flight on an airplane, chances are you can recall the flight attendant’s instructions to parents, directing them to place the oxygen mask on themselves first before placing one on their child. I think the natural thing for a parent to do is put the mask on the child first, and then try to put his own mask on after. But we can easily see why it is important that the parents secure his own mask first…if the child goes into distress while the parent is putting on the mask, the parent can rescue the child, but if reversed, the child would not be able to rescue the parent in distress.
This is a principle we should apply in our daily lives as we interact with those around us. If you are ambitious and trying your best to make a better life for yourself, then you have assumed the role of the parent while the less fortunate family members and friends would assume the role of the child. Therefore, you must take care of yourself first, making sure you are on a solid path before trying to help those who would likely have a negative impact on your progress.
Too often our growth is stunted by our desire to help those around us, and as a result, we either do not get anywhere close to what our goals are, or we get there at a significantly later date. It is natural and right that we desire to help those we love in any way we can, but we must do this in a manner that is reasonable, in that it does not impede our progress. When we have reached our goals, we could then spend the rest of our lives trying to bring every willing soul forward.
Finally, we must remember to grow with compassionate hearts and in this manner, we will always be aware of the fact that we have a duty to reach out to those we love and care about.