watch yourself

Once, there were a couple of acrobats, a student-teacher duo. The teacher was a poverty-stricken widower and the student was a little girl called Meda. They performed every single day on the streets in order to earn enough to eat and sustain themselves.

Their act consisted of the teacher balancing a tall bamboo pole on his head while the girl climbed gradually to the top. Once she positioned herself at the top, she remained there while the teacher walked in a straight line.

Both acrobats had to concentrate hard and maintain complete focus and balance in order to prevent any injury from happening and to successfully complete the performance. 

One day, the teacher said to the student: “Listen Meda, I will watch you and you watch me, so that we can help each other maintain concentration and balance and avert an accident. Then, as we perform more and more, we’ll surely earn enough to eat and improve our situation.”

But the young girl wisely replied, “Sir, I think it would be better for each of us to watch ourselves. To look after oneself means to look after both of us, right? That way, I am sure we will avoid any accidents and be able to perform more.”


This story basically illustrates that taking care of ourselves is the most important thing that we all can do in order to take care of others.

When we learn how to nourish and enrich our mind, body, our heart and our soul, we naturally begin to treat those around us with more empathy, compassion, love, and kindness, and create a more positive and long-lasting impact on the world. 

As we focus on our own growth and development and serve our immediate needs first, we position ourselves to serve others in a better way. In simple words, the best way to take care of others is to take care of ourselves. As Jim Rohn pointed out, “The greatest gift you can give somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.’ Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.’ ”