If you have ever flown on an big o’ jet aero liner, you have been subjected to the safety briefing performed by the stewardess before takeoff. You have memorized it. You could riddle it out yourself. The one guideline which always stuck out to me was, “If you are sitting with a small child, put your mask on first before assisting the child.” If you were to put your mask on after helping someone else, you might pass out before you get a chance to put your mask on. Which leads to the title of this article, Put your Mask on First Before Helping Others.
This is a metaphor for life.
I only wish I would of learned this sooner than later. Costa Rica to some people is still considered a third-world country. Other people have called it the Beverly Hills of Latin America. The Switzerland of Central America. It is like the three blind men and the elephant. It depends on what part of the elephant you are touching. Whatever someone calls it, there is poverty here. People here have a saying, Estoy luchando por la vida. In english, “I am fighting for my life.” I have met many people that are fighting for their lives. Even so, they always seem to find contentment. They are very positive people. I have met people who have nothing and they will say to me, Todo es posible. Everything is possible.
The whole time I have lived in Costa Rica, I have always been helping somebody. Seriously. I always bring a luggage full of stuff to give away every time I fly here. The last flight I made here, was the first time I brought a luggage full of stuff for me.
Many people are simply surviving. I am a very compassionate person. Perhaps too compassionate. I have helped people to the point of giving everything away. When I moved from one place to another, I always gave away my furniture. It was more like “lost” instead of give away. I once gave away all of the cash in my pocket, leaving me with nothing to pay the bus to get home. It wasn’t easy to find an ATM machine due to the location I was in.
I have many stories of helping people here. I have been coming here for over 15 years. Some stories are simply too embarrassing to tell. You do have to be careful here. Everyone here views you as a millionaire. I suppose if you translate my net worth from dollars to colones, I am a millionaire. I am not an ATM machine, though.
I have helped and given away a lot of my net worth in order to “help” people. I would probably be better off financially if I had kept to myself. I would probably be living in a mansion, which I did almost buy one time. I had the ability to pay it off in 10 years, also. Instead I have helped people and learned humility. I appreciate what I do have much more than I did when I was living in the United States.
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” — Chuck Palahniuk
I’m determined to make it. ¡Estoy luchando por la vida! My goal is to retire early and only visit my country to see relatives. I only wish I would of taken care of my finances and financial independence before giving so much away. Make sure you can take care of yourself before taking on caring for someone else. If you don’t, you might pass out. You won’t be able to help anyone then. Put your own mask on first.
!Gracias por la vida!