January 2


Today's quotation:

People are here for the sake of other people--for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.

Albert Einstein

Today's Meditation:

It goes against what we learn as we grow up, doesn't it--we're here to serve other people, not ourselves.  Culturally, we tend to grow up with the "looking out for number one" attitude that keeps us focused on what's best for us, what will make and keep us happy.  Interestingly enough, pursuing that particular path does not end up making us happy.

So many of the readings that I do show me that the truly happy people in this life are serving others, and usually not in any big way.  Making small gifts for a person who's going through troubles, taking the time to sit and talk with a three-year-old who would really love to talk with someone, holding doors for people, giving heart-felt words of encouragement when they seem to be necessary and appropriate--all of these are ways of giving, giving of ourselves rather than of things that we can buy.

When you go to work, do you think about how your job is serving others rather than just what you have to do?  When you do the shopping or wash the dishes, do you think of how those actions are serving others?  When you go out for dinner or a cup of coffee, you're helping to support a business that's paying people to work there, and you're directly helping them to make a living.

Life is about helping others, and almost all that we do is designed to do just that.  The question is, are we aware of this fact and doing all that we can to serve others well, or are we trying to get by doing as little as we can to accomplish such an important end?

Questions to consider:

How often do you commit small, seemingly insignificant acts to help others?  What are the effects of those acts?

If "courtesy is contagious," can it be also that helping acts are contagious?  If we serve others, do you think that those others will be more likely to serve in their turn?

Do you think that we can serve others by allowing them to serve us?  How often do we reject the help of others who would be more than glad to help us?

For further thought:

What is brotherhood?  Brotherhood is giving to others the rights you want to keep for yourself. . . giving to the individual in another group the same dignity, the same full appreciation that you want to have yourself.

Everett R. Clinchy

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more thoughts and ideas on serving others



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