There are two distinct types of people in this life…the takers and the givers. In a world that is becoming more egocentric and focused on selfish individual needs and desires, it is time to ask ourselves the question, “How may I serve others?” We often spend a lifetime in pursuit of our purpose only to discover too late that we are here on this celestial body at this very moment to in some manner serve our fellow man. Many balk at the notion of service to others in light of their own philosophical and established blue print of operating from the premise of “What’s in it for me?”
Many choose to walk this path in search of fame and fortune while they shun the lessons and the bounty that is available by helping others to learn their way. Life is a team sport. Those who choose to climb their pedestal as the main attraction while oblivious to the needs and plights of the entire world of supporting cast mates will soon find the emotional sting of rejection and loneliness. It is in our quest to balance our life of toil with that of service to others that we will find our true happiness and our greatest rewards.
The supreme lesson that life has made clear on repeated occasions is that, try as we might, we simply can’t out give God. The Universal flow of love and abundance will always circle back to its place of origin and overflow into our lives. Jesus shared with us in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” The moments in life that we are the most divinely connected are those in which we become a channel of God’s blessings.
We don’t give or serve with the expectation of return, but out of the pure love and kindness of humanity. As we stare into the mirror each night the question that we should ask ourselves in introspection is not how much money did I make today, or how many more material possessions did I acquire, but rather what acts of kindness and blessings did I share with others.
Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, befriended the outcast and washed the dusty feet of friends, family and strangers among other things. Mother Teresa spent years wandering the streets of Calcutta finding ways to feed, clothe, house and comfort the poor and ill. The people that we tend to revere the most in life are those who discovered and acted upon their mission to serve others…to exude love…to model kindness. Shouldn’t it just be a natural evolution for us to learn from valued examples and lean into that type of selfless service to others? One might think so, yet still we struggle.
We are all products of a blended desire by those in our own lives that chose to serve as our parents, our family, our teachers, our friends, our mentors. Service and kindness are learned skills. Exposure to these behaviors serves as our models. What we see, what we are taught, what we experience, builds upon our universal hunger of Divine and original goodness. We are indebted to those who gave us life, support, and encouragement. We are also indebted to those who disciplined us and gave us direction. Most of all we are indebted to those who showed us love, kindness and patience as we grew.
When the “bling” of the material world becomes more valued than our deeds of service and kindness, we drift away from the shore and into the unpredictable rough seas of a life in a rudderless ship. Life provides us with infinite challenges and opportunities to show up as a blessing in the life of another. It is only by seizing that life moment and making a conscious choice to serve that we demonstrate the Christ in our own being. We have to be moving through life with an open heart and open eyes so that we recognize the needs and opportunities to help others as they flash before us.
To live a life of service does not mean that we forgo taking care of our own needs and those of our family. It simply means that we are more inclusive of spreading our time, talent and treasure to those who might need our help. We are all blessed with our own special talents. Those talents can bridge the gap for others or provide a bit more time for them to develop their own skills. We have to be willing to open the door when the opportunity of service presents itself. It takes no special skill to exhibit love and kindness. It takes no special talent to give our time and attention to a lonely person hungry for a life friend and relationship. It only takes our willingness to be the blessing that someone else may be searching for.
Living the life of a servant leader requires that we take pause to step back and become observers of our own lives, thoughts and behaviors. Self-evaluation can provide a greater consciousness in our efforts to satisfy our hunger for fulfillment through service. You must live in the “now” with a sense of awareness and a spirit and desire to be the best version of our human self. Noted German theologian and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer stated, “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”
Service requires that we strive to help others discover the answers to the questions poised below: What can I give back to the Universe with no expectation of return? How can I make the life of another a bit happier and easier? How can I inspire and teach others to find their own talents to share with the world? What direction can I provide to allow another to discover the love, kindness and self-actualization in their own souls?
Famous author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar wisely coined the phrase below, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” It is through service to others that we travel the road to become the person that we truly desire to be. God works his magic through each one of us. The Divine Energy of the Universe gifts us with a special skill set asking only that we employ it for the good and service of all.
It is my hope that my works and visible testimony of my life’s dedication to love, kindness and service will become an inspiration and example to others to do the same…to share the love…to motivate and support…to inspire and encourage.
Mahatma Gandhi taught us, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
We can choose in life to be and do many things. The greatest and most impactful is our choice to set the example and mentor others on the virtues of reaching out and helping our brothers and sisters. Our lives are not diminished, but rather enhanced when we serve others as the Universe provides us with a never-ending source of goodness and abundance. The key is to make our own actions contagious so that we can ignite an entire world to become servant leaders. That single spark of our goodness can cause an exponential growth of the light and love around the world
Fred’s latest book is The Divine Order of Our Random Life: A Collection of Teachable Moments and Human Observation. He is also the author of The Fork in the Road Leads Home: Reflections From My Life's Journeys...A Collection of Essays and The Essential Elements of Successful Coaching