“The essence of courage is serving others with unconditional love.” – James Strock
Serving others is the most important thing in the world. Unfortunately, people don’t take it seriously. Instead, they expect from others. There is the least competition in giving to others and the most competition in getting from others. The world appreciates givers, not takers. Then why not to serve others to provide purpose and meaning to your life?
Benefits and Consequences of Serving Others
When you serve others, you are engaged constructively and productively. You get inner satisfaction and happiness that you touched the lives of others. Your stress will be relieved. You will not have any mental illness because you will be occupied with volunteerism. You can combat depression. You improve your mood and enhance your self-esteem. You connect with others comfortably and improve your emotional intelligence and soft skills. You improve your health and happiness.
Be prepared to receive both bouquets and brickbats when you serve others. You will be happy to note that you receive more bouquets and less of brickbats. When you serve others, it consumes your time, money, and energy. At times you receive criticism from others. You must be thick-skinned. In a nutshell, there are innumerable benefits of serving others and some consequences of serving others. As every coin has two sides, everything has pros and cons. When you look at the consequences of serving others, the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr strike our minds as they were assassinated. They could not please all sections. But they lived beyond their lifetimes. Hence, look at the benefits, not the consequences of serving others. It is great to lead a life with principles and philosophies than to lead a life with compromises and confusions.
Don’t restrain yourself from serving others by looking at the consequences of serving others. You cannot afford to see the dark. Instead, you must see the light. Look at the rising sun, not the setting sun. Look at the benefits of serving others, not the consequences of serving others.
Serving Others in my Personal Life
I enjoyed reading my friend, James Strock’s bestselling book ‘Serve to Lead: 21st Century Leaders Manual.’ This book will change the way you think about leadership, life, success, and service. James Strock advises: “Reflect on your experience: Who are you serving? Write down a list. Think about those you are serving effectively, and how you might do better. In what ways are you simply serving yourself? What areas of your life, and your service, do you regard as most effective? Why? Are you serving the same people and organizations and causes as in the past? Do you intend to serve different people and organizations and causes in the future? How will you decide? How have you decided in the past?”
I was born into a toxic family and grew up in a toxic environment. I rose from humble origins. I still belong to a lower-middle-class family in India. I was not blessed with an education from eminent educational institutions. I was not blessed with regular education. I acquired several qualifications including DME, BSc, MA, PGDCLL, PGDBM, and MBA after I joined the Indian Air Force when I was 19 years old. I wake up at 4 AM and sleep at 10 PM every day. I create knowledge and share knowledge freely with the world every day. It gives me immense satisfaction that I am building a knowledgeable world. I offer food to stray dogs in my colony despite not having any income for the last five years. I also provide free ration to a poor person in my colony who serves as an Imam in a mosque.
All these activities give me great satisfaction and inner happiness. Before I go to bed in the night, I express my gratitude to God every day for the value I add to the people around me within my limited resources. So, don’t blame the circumstances and the lack of resources. Contribute your best within your capacities. If you don’t have money, invest your time into nonprofits or become a volunteer to serve others.
Remember, the biggest gift you can give to others is your TIME. Avoid inventing excuses for not serving others. Be part of the solution, not the problem. You are blessed with one life and you must contribute your best to build a better world. Remember, we brought nothing into the world when we were born and we carry nothing from this world when we die. People remember only the good deeds we have done for others when we depart from this world. When you understand these facts, you become passionate about serving others and leading others with commitment, compassion, and character.
“The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you can alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change the world.” ―James Baldwin
Participate actively in non-profits. It gives you greater satisfaction than giving money to charitable trusts to do the work. It helps you understand the dynamics of non-profits and gives you a sense of identity and belonging. Leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela served people with passion and led their lives with purpose and meaning. They were the ideal examples of givers who added immense value to their societies and made a difference. Therefore, serve others for a cause, not for applause.
If you give to the universe, the universe gives you back. What goes around comes around. There is the least competition for givers. So, be a giver, not a taker. Serve others. Lead others. A life lived for others is more meaningful than the life lived for self. Albert Einstein rightly remarked, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” Therefore, add value to others. Make a difference in the lives of others. To conclude, serve to lead your life with passion and purpose.