BenoviolenceIt’s been a hectic week.

I will be updating you on some of the exciting new developments that we’ll be rolling out this summer on the website, but, last night, the perfect cap on a crazy week was getting a phone call about a relative who was having panic attacks because he had stopped his medication and now he couldn’t find a psychiatrist to see him urgently.

The call came in at 11:30 and lasted for an hour.

This morning I had to get up at 6:00 to come in for an early appointment.

I was feeling stretched and more than a little bit unhappy. So when I saw a post in the Just One Thing series on the topic of “benevolence,” I was not inclined to feel positively about it.

Wasn’t it an excess of benevolence that was responsible for my distress?

Taking care of people who had failed to take care of themselves all week was why I was so stretched.

The post was a pleasant surprise.

It began with a focus on taking care of one’s self. The foundation of the article was that taking care of others proceeds from taking care of one’s self (you have to take care of yourself first, like the instructions in commercial airlines that you should put the oxygen on yourself first before putting it on others).

This is often hard to manage with a very busy schedule, but I can see that this approach to benevolence might be an antidote to the impulse to be self-sacrificing (and self-destructive) by taking care of others instead of taking care of one’s self.

I encourage you to read the post and would love to hear your comments (