Thursday, March 31, 2005

More Reflections on "Being Selfish"

I recall an article I read years ago written for parents on volunteering in the school system. It stated that there are different levels of helping.

The first and most important way might seem too basic to even mention but realistically it is overlooked. This is to make sure their own children are getting their homework done. If this was done then, they suggested, that the parent volunteer in the classroom. After this the parent would be familiar with the school and could then advance to the next level which was involvement with the school council.

I was very impressed with the simplicity of this advice for the most important time would directly benefit the children. It would not be advantageous to jump levels and forego other responsibilities.

My point is that everybody has basic needs that need to be taken care of first. For instance, we can't disregard our health be it physical, mental,emotional,spiritual or even financial without hurting ourselves. I don't think that if we take care of ourselves in these ways that this is " being selfish." Although it is easy to overindulge at the expense of others which would legitimately qualify one as "being selfish."

Like the parent volunteer scenerio, if the needs of the family are also being met, then there can be a healthy progression to the community through the church, neighborhood, politics etc.

Sometimes there is a tendency to discount taking care of our own needs because it is seen as selfishness. If this happens, people will not be able to cope with their lives. There is a need for balance between self and others.

There is another analogy that helps me as I try to achieve this balance. If a mother is in an airplane with her baby and the oxygen mask drops, then it is imperative that she put the mask on herself first and then her child. We need to ensure that we are well if we really want to help others.

3 comments:

Jennia said...

Really a reasonable notion! Every life is treasurable. Take care ourselves, and don't be forced to do anything if possible.

Carol said...

Rather it is not to be compelled to do things that you are not ready for.
As a Christian, I know that I am expected to love and serve others, so I see it as a matter of getting ready.

Pearl said...

That's said much more straighfordwardly than I could yet.