Thyself before others

The title reeks of selfishness. Yes, there are instances when you need to prioritize yourself before others.
I was reminded of a lecture made by Anthony Pangilinan. He explained that it's wrong to divide your time just between your family and your work. Rather, the division of time should be in three parts: relational, professional and most of all, personal.
The relational aspect refers to the time you spend with your family and friends. The professional aspect refers to work. Then, the most important is the personal aspect, which refers to the time you allot for yourself, like praying, rest, exercise, reading literature that interests you, sleeping and taking a break, among others.
Pangilinan calls this the “pour in and pour out” idea. In other words, how can you give much of yourself to others when you have nothing to give?
Insist on your right to get enough rest or sleep; let your family and friends respect this. A tired or sleepy parent will end up screaming at his or her kid instead of spending quality time with the latter.
Too much work around the house should not be a reason for lack of exercise, too. Exercise protects the person from diseases and provides more energy. It also releases the “happy” hormones. A healthy person is of better use to others. Then, a happy person is also happy in his or her dealings with people around him or her.
A time for prayer should also be given the top priority before you prepare your family's breakfast or prepare for work. With prayer, you'll get the guidance that you need in handling that day's tasks and challenges.
A person who does not take care of oneself because he or she believes that the welfare of others should come first all the time, in the long run, will be burned out. And when that happens, this person is unable to share anymore.
A person who has given up on his or her dreams in order to satisfy that of another, will always long for what he or she has lost and will eventually blame others for the choice that he or she has made.
But admittedly, there are also instances that we make sacrifices because we are happy to see that the people we love are happy. A mother would decide that she's full when she realizes that the food left is enough only for her children. There's one father that I know who bought a huge stuff toy for his son instead of buying a toothbrush that would replace his one-year-old dilapidated toothbrush. A student decides to forego her dreams of becoming an artist because her mother thinks that becoming a nurse would put food on the table for the family.
I know of someone who took up law because it's what her parents wanted for her, but she became so unhappy. She flunked her exams and became the “poor student” and eventually broke the heart of her parents. Realizing that she's just wasting her time, she decided to quit and pursue Fine Arts. Now, she's happy and successful.
A person who has followed one's dreams and has taken good care of oneself is a person who is alive. As Pangilinan said, the world needs a person who's come alive. You want to take care of the world? Take good care of yourself so you will have the resources, the energy and passion to reach out.
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Quote: One form of loving is when you want the best for that person, whether or not it includes you./Marie Katherine Villalon

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