Friday, December 3, 2010

Put your oxygen mask first...

P woke up early this morning and before I had had a chance to make my morning coffee he asked me if I could toast a bagel for him. I told him I would do it after I made my coffee, as I am not fully human before my morning coffee... This reminded me of the emergency instructions on airplanes, about puting your oxygen mask on before helping kids. Spoke with the kids about this today. What are other situations in which you have to help yourself before helping others? If someone is sad or depressed, you probably need to be in a good mental state to cheer them up. Or, sometimes you have to set a good example to help others. For example, if you want to help someone do more exercise it probably helps if you do exercise yourself...

Then there are situations in which you might put yourself at risk in trying to help someone else. A few months back I was kitesurfing under the Golden Gate bridge with a friend who lost his board. I helped him recover it - which was not a big risk. Then he lost it elsewhere, and again I got his board. But when he got into a wind hole and dropped his kite I decided the smart thing to do would be to call the coast guard on his behalf - rather than get stranded with him. These decisions are not always Black & White of course... Sometimes you do need to take risks to help others (although ideally not before your morning coffee).

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Good advice, thank you for sharing.