If you’ve ever been on a plane, do you remember the pre-flight safety demonstration when the flight attendant explains in detail all of the safety features of the aircraft? Among many aspects of this safety demonstration there is one that is particularly significant. Not only is it important for you to know in case of an emergency during flight, it is also valuable life advice. We usually hear words similar to these.
“If an oxygen mask falls from the panel above you, pull it down and place the mask over your nose and mouth with the elastic band around your head. Tighten the mask to fit by pulling on the elastic bands. Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.”
Did you catch that last key part of the instruction? “Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others”. Let’s stop and think for a second. Why is it important to fit your own mask first? Sounds… hmmm… inconsiderate. Why are we advised to look after ourselves first before we assist others? Surely in case of emergency our attention should be on those who might not be able to manage on their own. Wouldn’t it be right to help children and other fellow passengers who might benefit from our support in extreme circumstances? If we have the coping skills others don’t why are we told to ensure our own safety first?
The reasons are in fact amazingly simple. If I am well myself I can assist others. I will be effective in my actions having my own source of oxygen to breathe first. I will be able to support many people if I prepare for it and take action to ensure I am in the best possible position to do it. To make it happen I need this bare minimum – air to breathe.
Isn’t it exactly the same in life?
We spend days, months and years helping and supporting others. It is very easy to forget that to be at our best we need our own batteries to be charged, we need our own meaningful relaxation and rest. Only then can we attempt to be there for others investing the best resources there are inside us. How can we draw from them if they all run dry?
So put your own oxygen mask first. Don’t teach other but show the how it’s done. Value yourself first and the support that you can offer. Value it enough to understand that your energy, positivity and help are precious. Find your own source of life oxygen in meaningful rest, relaxation and fun. Whatever it is for you, find it and understand it’s purpose. If you feel that you need oxygen, acknowledge that and plug into it’s best source.
“Attention Please! This Is The Life Safety Instruction! Put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others” …
and breathe… and breathe…
Author : Joanna Sobczak