It’s a crazy suggestion, yet the airlines continue to follow the practice, en masse. If the oxygen masks descend from their neat little enclosure above your head, put yours on first before looking after your children! This is so contrary to every cell in my body that the message jars every time I hear it. But is it wrong?
I started thinking about this in the context of BodyWHealth. Through my own life, there have been times when I was forced to choose between exercising, and doing something with my children. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may guess that I chose exercise, the first, non-negotiable step towards WHealth. From my introduction, and if you knew how important my children are in my life, you may guess that I skipped exercise to be with them.
Of course, the real answer is that I always tried to do both. But, there were times when I put exercise ahead of being with my children.
WHealth is the greatest investment you can make, but it is just that – an investment. It takes hard work to achieve a life of healthy habit. The rewards of abundant WHealth are unrivalled. I know many people, myself included, that have sacrificed WHealth to support their family. That sounds like the right thing to do, right?
I now believe this is wrong. Here is the reason. Today, I prioritize my own healthy habits. Like the airline advice, this leaves me in a position to help my children. Instead of being incapacitated by a drop in cabin pressure, or by poor health and unhappiness (the latter especially), WHealth enables me to provide better for my children. Rather than the exhausted couch potato that dragged himself home at the end of the workday, I have energy and joy to invest in them.
More important still is the fact that I model WHealthy behavior, and WHealth itself! My unequivocal commitment to exercise and calorie counting models the behavior they need to follow if they want WHealth for themselves (and that is my greatest wish for them). More powerfully, they can see that I am WHealthy. They have witnessed the rewards of the transformation in my own life, and have experienced the impact in their own.
Next time you have an unavoidable choice, please consider that the “crazy” advice of the airlines may be appropriate.