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Tough Choices: An Important Lesson On Decision Making

Hypothetical situation (and I pray you never are actually in this situation): You and your young child (10 or younger) go on a boat ride/cruise/yacht out into the ocean. For whatever reason, the ship hits something and starts sinking. There are no emergency lifeboats, but there is one life jacket between your child and yourself. Who do you put the life jacket on?

Just about every time I ask this question, I get the response “put the jacket on the child,” because as a parent, they would sacrifice anything to give their child a chance at life... But what happens to the child after that? Doesn’t that leave the child defenseless in the wilderness? Even if the child does make it back to civilization, who would the child go to for basic needs? Keep in mind this child isn’t older than 10...

But it’s not like you could just put the life jacket on yourself, right? That would be incredibly selfish of you. How could any parent make that decision? Why would you, instead of putting the life jacket on the child, put it on yourself, so that you would be able to float, and carry your child to safety, and continue to provide for the basic needs that.. the.. child... can’t......

So many times, we (well... some of us) have tendencies to put other people’s needs (or usually wants) before our own. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it is better to give than to receive (it means you have the ability to give). It becomes a problem when we drain ourselves dry and have nothing left to give. Then we usually expect those same people to give back in a similar way that we gave to them. The problem is, they don’t always have the ability to do that. Would a 10 year old child be able to provide food and shelter for a parent?

Usually when asked about priorities in life, people answer something in the realm of “1.) God 2.) Family 3.) Career 4.) Myself/Health,” but if you don’t take care of yourself first (after God), you won’t have the ability to take care of your family, your career, or anything else on your list that follows. The rest of your priorities and dreams (your child) will be left to fend for themselves... Or you could put the life jacket on yourself, and carry your child with you so everybody floats... But as always, the choice is yours. Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments below!

Comments Section

Thanks for taking the time to respond Jessica! Glad you got something out of it!
Loving the analogy. and one we can easily implement. All it takes is a simple way to remind ourselves of the priority order that leads to the greatest overall success. :-) Thanks Rabb. I'm looking forward to reading more in the future.

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