What Does “Being of Service” Mean?
By Wallace Huey
“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
There are many situations in life, where we are required to serve. Such situations include…
Coming home to a new marriage partner
Beginning a new job
Starting a business
Volunteering at your daughter’s school
Offering to help with building a friend’s house
Helping down at your local homeless shelter
Looking after elderly parents
And many more.
So what are the key principles that we can draw on to guide our life of service? Here are 10 principles I’d like to share…
It’s Not About You - It’s About Others
This is the principle that has us in right relationship. When we are coming from the principle of it's not about you, it’s about others, we are able to put ourselves in the other's shoes - to see the world through their eyes, to understand their point of view. This is the principle that dissolves all our self centeredness and has us merge with others in a state of empathy. In this empathic state we do not even need to ask, we just know the right action in every moment.
It’s Not About Achieving - It's About Harmony
One of the most wonderful things about being in harmony with any group of people is the resulting efficiency. By focussing on being in harmony rather than being efficient, we automatically raise our game and operate in the most efficient way possible. This makes achieving effortless.
It’s Not About Dominating - It’s About Love
Some people take the view that to make progress and to get everyone to pull together, we need to act as the boss, dominating and controlling others, and driving the project or the family group forward. Such dominance always needs to be accompanied by some degree of fear, because to achieve in this way requires force. Love is never forced. Love wins cooperation through the pulling power of the heart.
It’s Not About Stress - It’s About Joy
Many believe, and some even celebrate, stress in relationships. “We have to struggle to succeed” they tell themselves and others. When true service is present, stresses are transformed into feelings of joy and celebration, whether the group of people we are serving belong to a family, business or sports team.
It’s Not About Obeying - It’s About Questioning
When we are coming from a place of service, we do not demand obedience. Indeed we encourage a multiplicity of viewpoints and possibilities. To the onlooker this can appear somewhat chaotic and unfocussed. However if, through service, we know how to draw out the optimum in the group through questioning, then everyone present is lifted to new heights through a step change in their capabilities.
It’s Not About Telling - It’s About Listening
Perhaps the most important skill to master when leading a life of service, is listening. Through careful attentive listening, we are able to fully enter into another’s world. To see the world through their eyes. Then the other feels totally understood - perhaps for the first time. Such listening is at the heart of the non-resistant approach where all resistance from others simply melts away, as they are drawn into the spiritual embrace of the heart.
It’s Not About Profit - It’s About Balancing the Books
Many today feel profit is the ultimate measure of personal effectiveness. But such an attitude neglects to include in their cold hard calculations, the myriad human qualities that can be enhanced when acts of service are delivered though heart energy. This energy is primarily about feeling and not calculating. And since we all experience life through our feelings such acts of service raise the value of what is delivered beyond price.
It’s Not About Taking Action - It’s About Making a Difference
Without the down-to-earth power of being of service, we can easily find ourselves running around chasing castles in the air rather than real needs on the ground. Such an approach leads to education that values brain knowledge and memory over creativity and practical experience. By being of service we are able to direct our actions with wisdom so that they are effective in a down-to-earth way.
It’s Not About Effecting Change - It’s About Transformation
There is a big difference between changing things for the sake of it and acting in a way that brings a complete step change in power and effectiveness. How often do those in positions of power and authority, whether that is as a parent, a company director or a team captain, make changes “for the sake of it” without addressing the root cause of the problem or the key conflict in the relationship. By coming from "How can I serve this person?" we are better able to go straight to the root cause or discordancy and clean it up.
It’s Not About Goals - It’s About Presence
In our modern goal orientated society the goal is often given far too much prominence and focus. By taking a huge chunk of our consciousness into the future, where the end result lies, our capacity to be here now is greatly diminished and consequently so is our effectiveness. By taking back our conscious awareness from some imagined future projection and placing it more completely in the present moment, our capacity and capabilities are greatly enhanced as is our ability to serve in a practical way.
So I leave you with the above principles, and invite you to apply one of them the next time you are in a family situation, or seeking support for a desired outcome in your job. Then once you have succeeded with one of these principles and gained confidence with it, you can experiment with introducing a few more of these principles into those aspect of your life where you are called to be of service to your fellow Man.
Enjoy and let me know how you get on!
Further your understanding...
The True Self Loves Presence (Companion article to The Ego Loves a Challenge)
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