We must help ourselves before we can help others.
Part of this principle comes from the Law of Basic Experience: One can only teach what one has done.
Part of this principle comes from basic safety in lifeguard training: Don’t become a victim yourself; you can’t save a drowning victim if you drown in the process.
Charity and compassion can become distractions from our own problems. They can even become addictions—both helping others and distracting us from our own problems.
Take time to search your own soul. You’ll make a far bigger difference when you help others by example.