Imagine you live a long, full life, and now you find yourself at the pearly gates. Upon arrival, the gate keeper doesn’t ask you how many pairs of cute shoes you have, where you went to school, how much money is in your stock portfolio, or how many children you raised.
Instead your asked, “Who did you help? How were you of service to others? How did you use your life to benefit others?” The very idea of one person helping others dates as far back as the beginning of civilization.
Everyone has something to give, regardless of how small or seemingly unimportant the gift may appear. A simple offer of kindness can make someone’s day. Service takes many forms, such as offering a smile when someone feels unlovable, appreciating someone’s efforts, or spending time with a friend who needs to be heard without judgment. It may be sharing your skills or expertise with someone new to your career field, welcoming a neighbor into the community, holding the door for the person behind you, or saying thank you to the one who held the door for you. There are many ways to serve.
Developing a consciousness of giving is hard at first, especially if we’re used to being the taker. But while the process of change is not easy, the formula is simple: willingness
+ time = a shift in our thinking.
Every experience becomes an opportunity for service. Sometimes we give for the sake of giving and sometimes we give because we know that when we succeed as a collective group, we succeed at individuals.
There are many benefits to being of service to others. It’s rewarding to watch a person’s face light up when you help him or her achieve something he or she thinks is impossible. My personal niche area is working with women and mentoring teenage girls. It’s a pleasure when I see them experience the “aha” moment, particularly when I know that in some small way I helped.
Another benefit is that service to others allows us to make amends for past mistakes, particularly if it’s impossible to make a direct amend to the person we harmed. Service to others helps us make new friends. We automatically become connected to a community of like-minded people.
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