When I watched the Red Table Talk episode, where Jada brought herself to the table, I identified with a statement she made because I had been there before myself. She said:
“I thought that by helping (August Alsina)… I was healing myself, instead of just working on fixing me”Jada Pinkett Smith, Red Table Talk July 10, 2020
The oxygen mask on the crashing plane parable is a hard sell to a bruised ego or a fragile self-esteem. Here’s my analysis of it:
People feed their broken spirit with the idea of how “noble” they’ll look to everyone when they put the mask on their neighbor first. The problem is, if your neighbor is without the means to help you in return, you’re left with nothing. The reality is that’s the case, because if they couldn’t put the mask on themselves to begin with, they were more than likely never equipped to put it on you no matter what you do. Even if they really want to reciprocate. It’s not about intent, it’s the reality that you can only help when you have something to give, and when it’s a mission that belongs to you.
In this parable the gift of air is literally falling into our lap, but the addiction to looking better than our actual condition causes us to squander the gift. Jada’s gift was the means to licensed therapy to sort out her own pain. August was never equipped to return that, love is not therapy, and neither is care or concern.
Seek your own salvation first. Reach out to help once you’re fully covered and actually called. You try it in any other order, and ain’t nobody getting anywhere or even worse someone won’t make it out of the issue and it’s not a stretch to say that it might be you.
Please understand that this is by no means judgement, because I have struggled with the urge to help my entire life. It took my grandfather, whom I held in the highest regard when it comes to showing up for humanity, to tell me “it’s not always selfish to be selfish.”
That was his gentle way of fussing at me for finding myself living in the projects splitting rent with people that did not have jobs. Using my military benefits, working and going to school while the others did odd jobs. They weren’t bad people, I just needed to work on myself because I was a mess on my own and figuring out their life at the time was not my calling. I also didn’t want to accept how much of a mess I was. So, if I stayed busy helping them, maybe I could trick my mind into ignoring the ramshackle.
I know it’s easy to watch other people’s business and get excited by the drama. Just don’t miss the lessons. That interview contained much more, but this one stuck out to me. Check out the latest episode below and tell me what you learned in the comments below.