“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
Many of us have grown up thinking that service is something that is done for us, that if we provide any service, we should receive compensation for it. Perhaps this is something that we have learned over the years from someone who sees the monetary value of time–that acts of service are a resource for potential monetary gains. Yet as Gordon points out here, life seems to give back more to those who serve others unconditionally, with a compassionate and non-expectant heart.
Every act of service that we render is, in its depths, an act of service to ourselves. By serving others, we are essentially helping ourselves to grow, to expand, to become stronger and more compassionate human beings–human beings who have a greater capacity for love, empathy, and friendship.
Of course, there are those who tend to not serve others at all. And we may feel a smidgen of resentment towards those individuals–for what is the fairness in us serving greatly if they do not serve at all. But if we feel this way, and we choose to serve less because “it seems fair,” we are really hurting ourselves more than anyone else.
And service does not have to be grand in scale–it is about giving to others, that which we can afford to give, with a pure and generous heart. Give in the daily interactions you experience with others. Give of your knowledge and wisdom to those who are in need of answers. Give comfort to those who are suffering. Give love to those who are in need of a friend. This is how we can make our own lives richer.
Serve others and then take a moment to recognize how serving those individuals has also benefited you.
Questions to consider:
How many opportunities do you have to serve each day?
How many of those opportunities do you take advantage of?
What are the short-term and long-term benefits of service to you as a human being?
For further thought:
The sweetest lives are those to duty wed,
Whose deeds, both great and small,
Are close-knit strands of an unbroken thread,
Where love ennobles all.
The world may sound no trumpets, ring no bells;
The book of life, the shining record tells.
Thy love shall chant it’s own beatitudes,
After it’s own life-workings. A child’s kiss
Set on thy sighing lips shall make thee glad;
A poor man served by thee shall make thee rich;
A sick man helped by thee shall make thee strong;
Thou shalt be served thyself by every sense,
Of service which thou renderest.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning