24. Service

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” –Rabindranath Tagore

I had the opportunity to talk to a very wise woman this week. I was drawn to this woman by the fact that she had been involved with, studied, and practiced many different religions. Her life journey included multiple Christian traditions, Buddhism, New Thought and Religious Science. She has come full circle and returned to the tradition that she started with as a young girl. I was intrigued and asked “Why the return?” “Easy” she replied “service.”  Our conversation continued, but all I could think about was that one word, service.

I joined the Navy straight out of high school and thought I was doing a great deed serving my country. My reasons for joining the service were all selfish. I was able to get out of my home town, it guaranteed me money to go to school, and I knew that I would have a good paycheck every two weeks. I hated most the time I spent in the Navy and the act of serving brought me no joy.  Gandhi reminds us “Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.”

When my life is filled with service backed by joy and no ulterior motives I can truly understand the second half of the above Gandhi quote “But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”  Today I can comprehend why a woman would be led back to a tradition of service. Now when someone thanks me for my past military service I can smile and thank them because I understand that others benefited from my time working for Uncle Sam.

Affirmation: My life is full of love and joy. I serve all just as happily as when someone is willing to help me. Thank you Life for the chance to serve today.

Call to Action: Look around as you move throughout the world today. Find one instance that you can be of service to another without looking for something in return. Share your service with us in the comments.

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6 thoughts on “24. Service

  1. Another great idea. Service helps me when I am having a pity party because I can focus on someone else and keep my own life in perspective. I have been volunteering at the same organization for almost seven years and continue to receive more than I give.

  2. I was at two different events yesterday where the topic of discussion was service…Boom! I was wearing my cylfriday t-shirt and kept getting chances to share about the website and how this form of service has been such a strong piece of the puzzle of change in my life. I was also asked to be of service in another manner later in the day and I could not deny the chance to joyfully capitalize on the chance to be of service!
    Lovin’ life!

  3. I have been struggling with a topic and focus for graduate work. This week boom-boom-boom it was given to me – border service work – – – I see how I can integrate my professional life with the passion in my heart. To pay it forward, backwards and in-between. Thank you for reminding me that service work is all around me!!!!

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