Pass Out and You’re Not Helping Anybody

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Another lesson learned. I’ve always found it strange and wonderful that a certain concept may be repackaged numerous times, each incarnation resonating with a different person. You never know what way a message will click with someone.

I’ve been told over and over that my relationship with my best friend was unhealthy. How could I ever have an unhealthy love for a friend? Of course I love him more than myself! I would love any friend more than myself! That’s who I am, and wouldn’t the world be better off if we all put the needs of others over our own?

Well, today I was reminded of the classic flight attendant instruction following the deployment of oxygen masks: put the mask on yourself before attempting to help others. Okay, that I get. I can’t be an effective friend if I neglect my own needs. In another form this concept might be “you can’t love anyone else until you love yourself first.”

In the past, this idea seemed like something selfish people say. But as Vince Vaughn said in Four Christmases(2008),

If you pass out, you’re not helping anybody. “Put the mask on this one-” now I’m passed out. Now I’m not living; now I won’t help anybody.

The moral? Vince Vaughn is a funny-ass dude. And something about taking better care of my own needs. But mostly that thing about Vince Vaughn.

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