The buzz word lately has been to go out and serve others and that our purpose for being here is to serve. I don’t particularly like that train of thought but I couldn’t figure out why. It sounds well and good to show your compassionate self but I just wasn’t having an overwhelming desire or feeling to do so and I couldn’t figure out why. What’s wrong with me?
I understood that once you overcome a challenge you desire to share your experience with others to help them do the same. I get that. I found that I like the word help but not serve. Perhaps it’s because it brings up a negative reaction which reminds me of servitude which can mean any of the following;
1. The state of being a slave
2. The state of being ruled or dominated by somebody or something.
3. Work imposed as punishment
4. Work for somebody
This means to me no joy or reward in return. Of course when people say you’re here to serve others they’re not referring to it in this way but to assist somebody in a particular way. You could say that parents do that all the time. A mother serves dinner to her family and helps them with their homework. A father drives his son to soccer practice and teaches him how to ride a bike. The big difference here is that it’s out of love. Sure a parent is required to provide food, clothing and shelter but everything else is optional like cell phones, designer jeans and the extracurricular activities. And let’s not forget the real winners here like buying the juice you know your child likes, making his peanut butter and jelly sandwich just the way he likes it or washing her favorite pair of jeans ahead of time for an event. All these little things, and don’t kid yourself they’re big, are acts of love. Parents serve their children out of love.
There’s a really good book called, The 5 Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman and one of the love languages is “acts of service”. Basically its states that when you do for others it’s actually the way you express your love. It really makes sense when you see how much extra a parent will do for their child. Of course “acts of service” doesn’t just show up in regards to children. It will show up with anyone you care about in your life.
But what about the other acts of service such as community, environment and causes? These are also acts of love. They are love of humanity, nature and society. Every time I hear someone say it’s about serving others I want to cringe but I’ve learned to rephrase it in my mind. Now I hear, “It’s all about showing your love for others.
Doesn’t that sound much better? What do you think?