Take care of numero uno

I was a “Brownie” as a child, which is essentially a mini version of a Girl Scout. Part of our motto was, “A Brownie thinks of others before herself”. I grew up trying to put others’ needs before my own, as far as possible.

However, although I do not advocate pointless or excessive selfishness, now that I am older, I do believe that you cannot take care of anybody unless you take care of yourself first. Feed your own stomach, heart and brain. That way, you will be strong enough to figure out how to feed the next person.

Initially, I felt guilty for feeling this way, and thought that maybe I am just a selfish person. However, my thoughts changed one day when I got on an aeroplane and the flight crew informed us that, in case of an emergency, we need to put on our own mask first, before assisting others. It was then that I realised that taking care of yourself first is a great principle of survival.

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.

Taking care of yourself:

  • Get an education. Before you can try to help other people, you should enrol into a good college and get an education yourself. That way, you will be in a better position to understand what you are trying to help others with.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. If you want to live a long and happy life – one in which you will not be a burden to those around you, and in which you are actually able to help someone – then do not invite disease into your life.
  • Have lots of fun. Unlike cats, we have only one life to live – so enjoy it!