What does having the heart for service mean to you? Being useful, helping, assisting or providing something for another? What happens inside of you when you go out of your way for another?
There is a spirit within each of us that gets rekindled every time we do something for someone else. A warmth and peace is felt inside when we surrender to the act of selflessness. Giving brings happiness. This kind of giving is not monetary, although that can be very helpful at times. Giving of your time, energy and talents is the form of service that brings a deeper sense of gratitude and joy. It also has a way of sparking the same warmth, happiness and gratitude in the receivers of such service.
“Love in action is service to the world.” — Lynne Namka
When we are lead with our heart to help someone else without regard to “what’s in it for me?” there is a feeling of freedom that comes. This sense of freedom lifts the burdens we are personally feeling and puts them aside to come to the aid of another. We feel purposeful when there is a plan or call to action. We naturally want to help someone else feel less burdened, happier, cared for and loved.
I remember many years ago traveling across town to pick up Domino’s Pizza. They had an employee who worked the drive-through who truly had the heart for service. Without fail, she had one of the most consistent, happiest smiles and demeanor I’ve ever encountered. If you were feeling bad before you got to that window, there is no way you could feel bad before you left. She was that good. There was even an article written about her and the joy she brought others in her work. Imagine that—making an impression on others that warranted being written about and shared! I have never forgotten her.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” — Muhammad Ali
I occasionally went to a McDonald’s (back in the day), and realized how consistently friendly and kind the staff always seemed to be. I’d get to the pick-up window and be greeted by another friendly face and get my fresh, hot, correct order. I thought “wow! That is some incredible hiring and training this location does.” I wondered if I would be as happy with their super-friendly attitudes if my order was incorrect, or not fresh and hot. Or on the flip side, would I be as happy if my food was good but their attitudes were not? Personally, I liked the combination. Their amazing attitudes combined with my order being perfect made my morning more bright. I’ve also never forgotten that overall experience.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw
Of course, our own attitudes are entirely up to us, regardless of how others are towards us or the atmosphere around us. It’s always a personal choice whether or not to be affected by outside influences. However, it still feels better to experience a happy attitude versus a bad attitude. It’s the ripple effect. When you walk into a room smiling you see others light up and smile too. When you walk into a room frowning, most of the people will get more quiet and walk the other way. It’ll be the one in charge or the one with a heart for service that will ask “how can I help you” and genuinely want to turn that frown upside down.
It’s also amazing how quickly people respond when there is a need. Maybe it’s because we can feel what it would be like to be in that same situation, and how grateful we’d feel to have the help. Maybe it’s simply our true nature to be loving and kind. It feels good to feel good! Taking action spurs adrenaline that creates energy, which stimulates our endorphins—which, in turn, increase our happy meter.
Countless times I have forgotten (or felt less of) my own burdens or woes when I needed to be of assistance to another. Knowing I was making a difference for the better lifted my heart and subsequently lifted any personal heaviness I may have been carrying. Our problems don’t always just melt away, but we tend to look at them differently when we step away from them or put them on the shelf for the moment and give to another.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” — Edward Everett Hale