The Secret in Serving with Joy

What do I mean by serving?

The simple answer is anything that you do with love and joy that supports others and the planet.

I have included the caveat with love and joy for a reason. To help and support with resentment, reluctance,and a victim stance does not support anyone, including yourself.

Serving also involves caring for yourself. If you are not well, how can you care for others? The assumption in serving is that you are taken care of first—your spiritual, physical, emotional, and financial state.

True, these states do not have to be 100 percent in order to serve. In fact, serving improves your own well-being when done with consideration for the reality of your own conditions and with a generous spirit toward others.

What does serving others really mean? Should you join the Red Cross? Save the earth? Join a charity group? All these groups and more are valuable and are important activities to contribute to yourself and the planet.

What I am talking about here is a more subtle and general form of serving. You also serve when you help someone with large parcels, when you cook a meal for others, or when you give information that someone needs from your knowledge base which they may lack.

There are many ways to serve, large and small. Some people serve via their chosen carriers, others as a hobby (in the sense that they are not financially enumerated), and still others by accident and without intention.

Many years ago, I was in a hospital looking for a friend who was a medical student. For me, it was a large and confusing place. I was quite lost. I asked a passing medical student where my friend was. Instead of giving me directions, he walked me through the corridors to find him. I was a little embarrassed because I was changing his schedule.

He simply smiled at me and said, “You will do the same for someone else.” There was nothing I could say to that.  I thought to myself, He’s right. He was giving me a lovely example of the philosophy “What goes around comes around.” I have never forgotten that kindness.

There are ways to serve that are still serving but may not have as much benefit for the person serving. You will still be helping others, but you need to be cautious of the effects it will have on you. For example, if you serve out of guilt or a craving for attention, or only because it is “the right thing to do,” purely for your own advantage, or because your friends are doing it, the energy that you put into it will drain you. The outcome will not be optimum for those you are serving or yourself.

That is, you can still be helping others and serving, but the benefits to yourself and others may not be as welcoming.

When you truly serve others, including the earth that supports you, you will feel invigorated and renewed. Things will fall into place for you to help you accomplish these goals. The secret of serving is to serve in a way that makes you happy. Use your talents—and we all have them—in a way that serves both you and the thing that you want to serve.

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