When was the last time you went into a shop and was mindful of the way you addressed the assistant serving? Gave them a smile with your request, actually looked them in the eye, engaged somewhat in conversation and wished them well?
2013 taught me how much providing a service in the various ways, makes the world go round. From teachers, carers, nurses and doctors, street sweepers, sales assistants and the like, working in service is an exchange of energy as old as civilisation. Serving one another in some way is a natural human instinct that we all have inside of us and can deliver on daily basis through our individual talents.
While some interpretations of someone working in service can be wrongly perceived as something only a specific type of person does (observe the feelings and attitudes from yourself and others that can come up when you think of a cleaner or someone that works in McDonalds) in reality, there is a beautiful dignity and humility in the act of service. When you are in receipt of a service, you have no choice but to trust the person. There is also a level of sacrifice that comes with service where you surrender to the position you play. For example, cleaners and carers of the elderly could be seen to sacrifice their dignity in their role. Some people in service have even given their lives. The obvious picks here are individuals like Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X who died because they lived their lives in service for the betterment of others and fully submitted themselves to a cause outside of and greater than themselves and at a cost. The late great Madiba also lived his life in service to others and has left a legacy for doing just so.
In a doctors office you trust them to give you the best medication or guidance to help you feel better, you trust teachers with your children, carers with your beloved and vulnerable, a shop assistant that they have the best advice, and a friend that you call on for advice with your best interests.
Service is everywhere and it makes you feel good. Giving makes us feel good. On a chemical level even thinking about helping others boosts our health and increases the level of serotonin; the happiness hormone whose primary role is to allow us to sleep well, feel calm and strengthen our immune system. According to Wayne Dyer, in his book "The Power Of Intention", serotonin is activated in our body when we do something nice for someone and is released in the body of the person for who you did the kind act. It is also released in the body of someone who witnesses us do the kind act. . When I go to the market and see the market traders who have left their warm homes to post up their stalls and provide us with fresh produce to make a living and make our lives richer, I can't help but offer my gratitude to them, even if just through a smile or a bit of friendly banter.
The more I write and teach the more I realise that we're all meant to serve each other. Providing inspiration, solace, lessons, comfort, words, the space and time to let someone shine their light, sharing our talents and our own light is a service for the greater good that helps us and others elevate. That is our collective responsibility on a macro or micro level.
So, next time you're in a shop, lets be aware of how we greet others with our words or even just through our energy. Give a little more, be grateful and keep the flow going. It's what we're here for.