-Helping an old lady cross the street.
- Helping a friend move.
- Cooking for family and friends.
The list is endless. There are so many creative ways for people to do service every day. To serve your fellow man while humbling your own soul. Service is certainly not about attaining something, but involves presence and the surrender to a will of humanity and compassion.
Do we do enough service?
Do we see service as a check list for us to make us feel better about ourselves?
Do we cleverly compartmentalize kind tasks in between our ever so busy schedule?
From an evolutionary and economic perspective, humans respond to incentives. The term reciprocal altruism comes to mind. We do kind and nice things with the underlying intention that we are going to have the same thing done to us in the future. We may subscribe to the belief of karma in order to hit our reward centers in our brain. The illusory golden rule of doing onto others becomes ingrained into our collective unconscious.
We set these expectations, but expectations seem to be the root of all heartache. It should be no surprise that we get a boost of dopamine in our reward centers when we help someone in need. It's a natural medication. It feels great. It distracts us from our own problems for a little bit. We longer become the center of attention and we merge into an almost effortless sense of cooperation and communion with others.
We tend to forget how service can do so much good for our internal atmosphere. We gravitate towards more instant gratification escape mechanisms that soothe us in the moment. We might go towards that beer instead of calling up a friend and asking how we can help. We might lazily plop ourselves on a couch and watch a fantastical tv show that distracts us from our own drama. It's a reflection of unconsciousness and inability to gravitate from habitually patterned comfort zones.
When we stop from trying to manufacture an experience of service just to do "service", we can surrender to a new sense of discovery. We can abandon our "trying to be a good and fulfilled person" tasks for a life of spontaneity and compassion. It begins with the melding of what is and not what will be better for you or someone else in the long run.
When you are fully present, opportunities will flow to you like a stream and offer you the space to take conscious action. From conscious action, springs the core of humanitarian compassion and love. You act with kindness without effort. You spring to help out a fellow man without the thought of what you will "get out of it". You delight in the freedom to lift someone's spirits just by being there. Being there to listen. Being there to comfort and accept one another. Being there to understand the vast spectrum of humanity.
Even the smallest actions of service add up to make big impacts. The power to elevate someone's mood and disposition is a big one. They may not ask for help. Most of the time they won't. It is about being in tune with the ecosystem around you and within you . That ability to make someone laugh might trigger a domino effect for the rest of their day. Their heavy thoughts might get lifted and they can free themselves to do what they are passionate about. The micro actions play a huge part in changing the perceptions of others and yourself. They play a huge part in influencing the collective social consciousness.
Knowing what someone wants before they ask for it is key.
Knowing what someone may want even if they don't know it involves an heightened sense of awareness.
It's not about amassing a giant list of service tasks.
It's being in the flow.
It's those small micro actions of commitment and intent.
The embracing of impermanence and uncertainty.
The surrender to the "Lack of Agenda".
The old saying..
You get what you give.
Live a life of service that integrated into everything you do. No need to compartmentalize. No need to keep track. No need to assemble a hierarchy on who to help.
Just. Presence. Compassionate action.
Non-judgment. Aware. Intuitive. Accepting. Forgiving. No expectations.
Give until you have nothing else to give. Then simply, be.