I remember my first time on a plane with my kids and when the flight attendants did their pre-flight demonstration. Since it was my first flight, I actually paid full attention. The part about when the oxygen masks drop down really caught me by surprise. When she said that everyone needs to first put the mask on themselves before the children, I instantly corrected her in my mind thinking she made a mistake. Then I realized she was right. If the parent passed out, then the children would be on their own and potentially unable to save themselves let alone the adults.
I’ve had the experience countless times when I see others put their friends, family, children, and even strangers first in situations that might have turned out better if they would have just “Put the oxygen on themselves first”. When my kids were little and we didn’t have very much money, I came up with a creative solution for Christmas presents. Toys would slowly disappear throughout the year so that on Christmas morning there would magically be many gifts under the tree! Before you judge me too harshly, I kept the boxes they came in so everything looked brand new. A real class act! It worked quite well for a few years, but alas all good things come to an end. It would have felt better to give the kids first but that would have hurt everyone in the long run since we all needed to pay off the bills.
How many families end up going downhill because parents don’t strengthen themselves first before giving into luxuries for their children, friends, and others in their lives? I have a friend that once told me something when we were stressed out working on a Avon Breast Cancer musical charity event:
“We all have a full cup to give from,
but if we aren’t careful to fill that cup from time to time,
it will run empty”.
Remember that your oxygen mask is right there…take a deep breath and then go take care of the others.