Triangles and Arches
"In the event the cabin of the aircraft looses pressure....."
Anyone who has flown with a commercial airline has heard these words. It is required by FAA to run thru a safety spiel and makes folks uncomfortable at being reminded what most are trying to forget, how deadly an aircraft emergency can be. Or for the frequent flyer, annoyed to have to hear again all the reminders and warnings.
In pondering the words after hearing them again on our return trip from Europe, I thought deeper about the part that advises to put on my mask before reaching over to help one who may struggle to properly secure the life saving, oxygen delivering apparatus.
In our household there is a hierarchy of care, chores if you will that always secure the health and safety of the "pack". At the top of the triangle are the primary caregivers who administer to those below them and those below fall into tiers. When a top tier provider is unable to give care, the responsibility shifts down. Those farther down the line less able to provide, are coincidently less likely to receive care in the event of a threat. This doesn't seem as unfair as it sounds because by default the bottom of the tier are those that simply can't step up when needed so are consequently considered less important. For us it's top tier: Mike and me, second tier: Winnie and Riley, third: Mali, the Mini-horse and last: Tippy (so sorry, Tip, but you are a cat and are not much of a team player).
The integrity of the pack is equally in the hands of the top tier and rests no heavier on any one pack mate on down the line. Tippy's responsibility is to scare rodents for 30 minutes a day, purr when petted about 5 minutes a day, eat and clean herself 25 minutes a day and sleep, sleep, sleep the remaining 23hrs. Couldn't provide care to any other pack member if she wanted (and she does not want to, ; ). Tippy is last to receive attention. And so it goes up the line with each tier getting and needing and giving proportionately.
Circling back to the words in the flight attendants' safety speech, I realized they are talking about the plane specifically but in a much broader sense, life in general. How important it is for those being depended upon by others to take time, make sure they are the best they can be, the strongest they can be in order to insure the security of those that count on them. And then I realize how large is Winnie's role in supporting the top tier. #NoseWithFeet
Dogs might as well have invented the concept and of course, leave it to dogs to take the back seat (literally and figuratively), to assume the lesser position.
In reality, the second position is way more important. They lift the top tier while bridging the gap to join the other tiers. I visualize an arch rather than a triangle and dogs are in the middle. Winnie and Riley give us friendship with a wet tongue-kiss, encouragement with a wag of the tail. They offer open ears to listen without judgmental eyes, forgive unconditionally and give us their best every day with all they can give. #emotionalintelligence They are the center of the arch, the apex, the biggest, strongest part. They hold the place with highest honors.
In closing, my advice to anyone who wants to hear, take care of yourselves. Eat right, get exercise and enough sleep. Laugh a lot, love even more and give yourself a break so you can be the best you can be. Your support team deserves it, they need you to be strong enough to help put on their masks.