Many Forms of Slavery

I’m going to make a statement that sounds selfish but on reflection, you might agree with me.  Here it is.  One of the main requisites for change is to satisfy our own needs first.  It may remind you of the flight attendant’s announcement that should the plane lose oxygen during flight, you should put the mask on your face first before helping out a child or someone who is infirm.  It logically follows that only when we have done our best to make the most of ourselves can we be of the highest service to family, friends, community, etc.

I wouldn’t know if someone like Mother Theresa “polished her own mirror” before she went out to help the needy.  She may be an exception to the rule. Isn’t it true that often people use the philosophy of service to others first as an escape from taking responsibility for their own lives?

Oftentimes, you’ll hear someone lament, my children, my spouse, my friends come first. My thought is that the individual is deceiving himself / herself because you can’t change the world, but you can change yourself.  Every one of us has to take charge of our own life because one of the worst crimes, that relentlessly punishes the individual, is mental slavery.  The famous philosopher, Descartes made a prudent comment – “A life of quiet desperation”.  Don’t give yourself the excuse of not accomplishing what you would want to in your life because you’ve deluded yourself into thinking that your have enormous responsibilities to others before you can live out your personal dream.

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