Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
What roles do you play in making the world a better place?
We come from a society that feeds on self-fulfillment and which teaches that we are all best served by myopically focusing on the skills that can propel us into new territory for our personal gain and personal growth.
I think these skills are critical not only for survival of the individual, but for survival of the community. I believe there is a critical component that stems from volunteering of your time and effort in places that you can provide your greatest service to others.
Monetary donations are a good start, but they are only a tiny part of what is required to keep society in balance. Often times, the necessities come in individual, personalized needs and requests. It might be a family member, a friend, a work colleague or a stranger.
And, while the multitude of requests might range from doing something of significance, to just being a willing ear that will listen, each of these needs are so important to the receiving party as to negate their comparative value to one another.
When we are in need of a helping hand from another, we are in such a vulnerable space. How the other party treats us in those situations makes a world of difference to the way that we feel and their approach to helping us solve our problems impacts the net outcome of what they are trying to do to help us.
No one ever wants to be condescended to, especially in a moment of need. When we are at our lowest low, we are craving the kind treatment from others that do not try to make us feel like we are in such a low state.
Being helped in life is a miraculous feeling, but when it gets clouded by an attitude that conveys anything but warmth and generosity, a giant piece of that assistance is wiped out with the uncalled for emotional overtones that come with it.
Concurrently, volunteering to assist in a task or endeavor that does not blend well with your skills, mindset, beliefs or otherwise, is equally capable of lessening the full potential impact of the efforts that have been volunteered.
Many aphorisms have been written to illuminate the virtues of giving over receiving… my favorite is in a song from Jethro Tull called Wond’ring Aloud, in which Ian Anderson sings, “It’s only the giving that makes you what you are.”
If you have not found your calling to give back to society, I invite you to explore until you find the one that deeply connects for you. It is truly one of life’s most sublime satisfaction ingredients.
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