Help others, but take care of yourself first

Helping others is an admirable trait in humans. Helping others is (oftentimes) rewarding and valuable in itself. Non the less. I oftentimes see people burning out because they overdo it. They spend all their energy helping others (humans, animals, whatnot), not taking care to realize they loose themselves in the process.

You see - I switched to English (at least for this one) to train myself in writing better English. Hope you don't mind. If you feel you need a translation - write to me and I will gladly provide one.

Solltest Du eine Übersetzung des folgenden Textes benötigen, schreib mich bitte an. Ich sende Dir gerne eine zu.

Learning from aviation

Have you ever flown in an airplane? Be it for business or private reasons? Did you listen to the security intro, when nice little humanoids made an effort to tell you all about what to do in case of an emergency?

Do you remember what they always tell you, what to do with the oxygen masks?

First pull the mask over your face and secure it. Then - and only then - should you help others in putting on their mask.

But why is that so?

Well what good would it do, if you helped one or two others, while you yourself are inhaling carbon monoxide, smoke, fumes and stuff? Well you would probably not live another day to see others you helped go on with their lives.

You yourself are taken out of the game and will never be able to help another person. In the long run you wasted not only your life, but took away from other people the opportunity to be helped by you.

What to do?

First and foremost. Take care of yourself. Make sure you are soundly well. Don't ever burn out for others.

Your help will become ineffective and inefficient. And others (and you yourself) will suffer for it.

Taking care of yourself often means to say 'No.'. I know it is one of the harder things to do. I had this situation some days ago myself. And I hate to say no.

Especially if it has to do with furry little cats being in need for a place to (temporarily) stay. Non the less. It was necessary - and even though I said no to housing another (or more) little balls of fur - I non the less try to be helpful a little bit more.

I am actively querying my network in search of places for these small cats to stay. Be it temporarily or be it as a forever home.

I spread the word actively (as I am doing here, using it as an example) that there are up to six little kitten in acute need for a place to stay until they get adopted.

So you see. Even if I am in no condition to house them myself - I still do what is in my power to try to find a solution. And at the same time try to take care of myself and the little balls of fur already living at our home.

Even there is one small little cat who is actively looking for a great forever home. Wouldn't it be for her we might have been able to house one of the kittens. But we do not get to chose and that is ok.

To wrap it up:

Be grateful

Last - but definitely not least - be grateful for what you already have. Believe me it is (in most cases) more then enough. We all - at least if you are reading this on the internet - have more then enough to give back a little.

But also take graciously and thankfully if you are on the receiving end. Don't be a dick about receiving help - and don't be a dick in giving.

Ich wünsche Euch ein schönes und hoffentlich ruhiges Jahresende und ein wundervolles und erfülltes kommendes Jahr.

I do wish you a relaxed end of year time. May your time be calm and quiet. Have a great upcoming year.


Thanks to Beatrix for reminding me to write down my thoughts.