By Rev. Richard Kent Matthews
“Like the moon, in its radiant beauty, be a Light Reflector. Remain open and willing to serve. That's why you're here." Guru Da
Warning! This article may be harmful to your ego!
You hear it everywhere, read it everywhere, discuss it now and then. You must give to receive. After a while, hearing that can become annoying, even irritating. “I know, already!”
They try to get your money, your time, your efforts, your talents. They send you tons of bulk mail every year. A gazillion spam-y emails. They push telethons in front of you, right when your favorite sitcom is supposed to be on. They call you on the phone. They threaten you at church (Well, at some churches. Not mine). Give, give, give. Ad infinitum.
OK, so you know it’s a good thing, this giving and all. Yet, just giving because someone says you should, or you must, or you won’t get the goodies if you don’t, doesn’t seem like the best approach to get you to share yourself and your worldly possessions with the rest of us. All that does is produce guilt. (My Catholic friends have told me that, without guilt, the church doors would close. Is that true?) And even though I may get your money by guilting you, somehow my taunting you and begging you and cajoling you seems a bit less than honorable. But I have to do it; otherwise, you wouldn’t lift a finger. Still…
Oh, well. Enough of the sermon. What I really want to share with you is a way to be of service to the world that does not guilt you, won’t trick you, or overpower you in some way. I am of the mind that the only reason we’re here, apart from survival itself, is to be of service to the world. And the best way to do that is to want to and also to enjoy what you’re doing. Don’t you agree?
With that, here’s a short list of my ideas on how to create the service mentality within your brain and heart. Then, you can choose—or not—to put the list into practice:
First, consciously choose to make a commitment to be of service to the world, on any level—locally, nationally, globally. Clarify the role you want to play. How will you know which of your behaviors are demonstrating that commitment?
Here’s a hard one: be willing to sacrifice some of your personal interests or preferences when necessary to support your commitment to service. You’ll know when you’re being asked to do that. The old “I want it my way” will rear its head. What you do with that little irritant will determine how committed you are.
This one will trounce your ego a bit: When you do your service, in whatever capacity, don’t be seeking congrats and kudos. Sometimes you’ll be working behind the scenes and someone up front will get the credit—often for your work. Can you keep from letting that get your goat? Try. It will take humongous effort. Ego wants what ego wants.
Take some leadership roles but don’t be above doing any type of job that needs to be done to keep you and those you serve on target. Now and then, you’ll want to feel put upon, that a certain task is beneath you. Get over it and get over it now. When you serve, serve. No whining or self-pity, for God’s sake.
Finally, be or become the one who knows how to get things done, the one who doesn’t quit, the one who remains consistent. In other words, be dependable.
Preachy? I hope so. If you’re reading this and it touches you—positively or negatively—you’re being approached by your inner guidance. You are called to be of service to this world. There is nothing as important. Not money, not success, not even sex! And in this particular place and time, you know it from the bottom of your heart. I’m just here as a reminder.
The world has always had its challenges. That’s why great leaders and great champions have been constantly sought and summoned to help straighten a curvy path. You are such a one. Your singing, your playing, your speaking, your writing, your labors, your childcare, your elder care, your environmental commitments—they all serve the purpose of serving the rest of us. We need you, now more than ever.
Keep giving your money, your time, your talents. Feel guilted if you must. My only advice can be wrapped up in one word: Commit.
The Universe is your home. Serve it well.
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