Wearing your life vest
Wearing your life vest
On the plane there are so many safety instructions to watch out for before you take off. The airline staff go through an elaborate demonstration for seat belts, no smoking, emergency evacuation procedures, wearing your oxygen mask and of course how to put on your life vest. If you look around at your fellow passengers, you will note that most people are not sparing the 5 minutes and not paying any attention to the valuable education lesson that is being provided free of charge. Everyone assumes that automatically if the need arises they will know exactly what to do in an emergency situation and be perfectly calm. Rarely this is the case and the airline staff has to reorient every panicked person to stay calm and follow the procedures that they so kindly did not remember.
One particular emergency procedure that I thought was interesting was the wearing of the life vest. More over the instructions are clear. ” Wear your life vest first before helping someone else” This of course got me thinking. This is a very fundamental concept but since we are rarely actually in the moment and aware of our surroundings we do not realize that before helping someone else we have to be able to help ourselves. This is not the greedy version of “helping oneself” but more the idea that if we ourselves are not situated in peace how can we possibly help from a position of peace. We then either are not helpful enough or provide the wrong kind of help. In any case help that is not useful is still no help. Just like wearing a life vest there are certain steps that you have to undergo in the correct sequence to enable the appropriate deployment of the life vest. Similarly there are prescribed sequence of steps to undertake to learn meditation in order to attain a state of awareness.
Certainly help others but understanding that to help yourself first to be more useful, is the first step on the path of awakening. Practicing to put your own life vest on is akin to practicing meditation. You follow certain methods and then do it repeatedly so that you get the act of meditation down as a habit, so that when you need that technique in a pinch, you are already well versed in its practice. Same with the life vest. Once fully understanding the methodology you are able to immediately put it on yourself without effort, and then calmly put it on someone else, such as a child.
Your advancement of your meditation serves to bring forth awareness of the moment so that when the need arises, you are awake, alert and able to assist. Your actions are also modeled by others such as a child who is still in the stage of learning, and so by copying your good actions of self discipline, the child learns how to eventually be able to put on their own metaphorical life vest. The life sometimes you save may be your own through the techniques learnt of being in the moment, as you conquer your own anger, your darkness, your demons. The life vest is your self preservation. Be prepared to use your life vest when needed through the practice and awareness of the moment, just do not open it when you do not need to, and create a scene 🙂
Hope you have a safe flight and journey !
Very thought provoking and true. We must be authentically at peace with ourselves before we can help others.