A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“You can’t fight city hall” (proverb) (8/21)
“Chips are for sandwiches, not shoulders” (8/21)
Baltimore chop (baseball term) (8/20)
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Entry from March 15, 2018
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first”

"You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first” is a motivational saying that has been printed on many images. That is, one must fill one’s self up before filling the cups (helping) others.

“We must realize that one cannot pour from an empty cup and that to become true guardians of our children’s souls, teachers need time to cultivate their own” was printed in the book The Artist in Each of Us (1951) by Florence Cane. The expression doesn’t appear to have gone viral, however, until the 2000s.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup” “Take care of yourself first” was posted on Twitter on September 22, 2014. “You can’t pour from an empty cup. ... Take care of yourself first” was posted on Twitter on September 24, 2015.


Google Books
The Artist in Each of Us
By Florence Cane
New York, NY: Pantheon
1951
Pg. 370:
We must realize that one cannot pour from an empty cup and that to become true guardians of our children’s souls, teachers need time to cultivate their own.

Google Books
Using the Creative Arts in Therapy: T
he Power of the Arts Experience to Expand Human Horizons

By Bernie Warren
Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books
1984
Pg. 20:
As my wife, Roberta, often says, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.’ The most important thing to remember is that everyone in the room is a human being. You, your assistants and the members of your group all have good and bad days. All of you will experience frustration and elation, failure and success.

Google Books
Sex is More Than a Plumbing Lesson:
A Parents’ Guide to Sexuality Education for Infants Through the Teen Years

By Patty Stark
Dallas, T: Preston Hollow Enterprises
1990
Pg. 198:
That you cannot pour from an empty cup. In order to be emotionally available to your child you, too, will need emotional “fill-ups.”

Google Groups: alt.support.depression.manic
negative rant
Mark of the Forest
11/11/00
(...) Shawnee, everyone isn’t out to make your life hard. You find it impossible to entrust anyone with your care. You also find it near impossible to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. But I totally understand your position. See, a person cannot pour from an empty cup. Like the poor pet that was beaten, it will not come to the stranger holding out food. Shawnee, you break my heart.

Google Groups: rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic
Just Random Thoughts
Crazy Horse
8/2/01
(...)
Stan- do yourself and your mother a favor—find *some* way to recharge your own emotional/spiritual batteries.  You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Google Groups: alt.recovery.addiction.alcoholism
Personal honesty
neuro equipoise
4/13/04
(...)
Fear is downshifting and concentrates on *lack*.  It drains energy and awakens ego-mind.  Upshifting to thoughts of nurturing and healing yourself concentrates on *abundance*, increases energy, and connects to higher mind.  You can’t pour from an empty cup.  You can’t pour from fear, because fear is about lack.

23 May 2007, Michigan Chronicle (Detroit, MI), “Susan Taylor dispenses food for thought at Power Economics Luncheon” by Valerie D. Lockhart, pg. B10:
“Because of Susan Taylor’s emergence, we as Black women never saw ourselves the same,” said Mildred Gaddis, a popular Radio One 1200 AM talk show host. “We learn from her that you cannot pour from an empty cup.”

Twitter
Beth Lane
@Beth_Lane
Lots to do - think I’ll indulge in a little rest and reading first - can’t pour from an empty cup.
4:44 PM - 5 Sep 2009

Google Books
Heart & Soul:
Five American Companies That Are Making the World a Better Place

By Robert L. Shook
Dallas, TX” BenBella Books, Inc.
2010
Pg. 216:
Thiry is also fond of repeating the Buddhist quote “One cannot pour from an empty cup.” He frequently uses this expression, because it reflects one of his basic philosophies about how we all are here for each other.

Twitter
OurGiftBiz
@OurGiftBiz
I appreciate the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” What kind thing have you done for yourself today?
9:50 AM - 29 Aug 2011

Twitter
ME/CFS Diary App
@TeamMEDiary
#MECFS “You cannot pour from an empty cup” “Take care of yourself first”.....
9:29 AM - 22 Sep 2014

Twitter
Kendall T
@Kendall_EP
“You can’t pour from an empty cup” -Yana Symone Smith on the importance of self-care in our work @edpioneers
4:58 PM - 30 Jan 2015

Twitter
Joyalea Herdeck
@Joyalea
You can’t pour from an empty cup. ... Take care of yourself first. http://fb.me/1UhP8G0ny
4:42 PM - 24 Sep 2015

Twitter
Making Mindfulness
@MakeMindfulness
You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.
#SelfLoveisessential #love #SelfCare #loveyourself… http://fb.me/3igrsOFTi
6:10 PM - 25 Sep 2015

Google Books
From Boardroom to Baby:
A Roadmap for Career Women Transitioning to Stay-at-Home Moms

By Kristin Helms
Newburyport, MA: Career Press
2017
Pg. 161:
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” —Unknown

Google Books
Real Talk About Classroom Management:
50 Best Practices That Work and Show You Believe in Your Students

By Serena Pariser
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Teaching Essentials
2018
Pg. 229:
You can’t pour from an empty cup. —Anonymous

Twitter
SkinRemodeling
@SkinRemodeling
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Take care of yourself first.
@marshawright #ThinkBIGSundayWithMarsha
6:02 PM - 17 Mar 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, March 15, 2018 • Permalink