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Have you ever thought about what it means to be of service?
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
We are all born into the arms of men and women who serve us.
Your mother, who rode the waves of birthing you.
Your father, whose strong hand held your newborn head in its palm.
The doctors and midwives who helped your entrance to this world and cheered at your first cries.
Even if the only true gift your parents ever gave you was the gift of life, you have so much to be grateful for.
Even if at home only your basic needs were met, you grew on the offerings of your school teachers.
They were underpaid and overworked and full of care and concern for you from the minute you set foot in their classroom.
As you grew, you learned to share.
You learned to be kind.
You learned the warmth of a hug and the strength of a smile because they had the power to light up the room.
Marian Wright Edelman said, “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.”
When you shift your mindset from one of taking to one of giving, your experience in life changes dramatically.
When your default setting is to give instead of to keep, you discover an abundance you didn’t know was possible.
If you’re looking for a way to get more . . . give more.
Ghandi believed that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
There are times when we wish to lose ourselves.
Times when pain is unavoidable or when hope is hiding in the shadows.
These are the times when we must focus not on the misery of our own circumstances but instead on the suffering that surrounds us.
There is always someone nearby in need.
There is always someone hungry, cold, or lonely.
There is always a child or an animal or a family stranded.
And always a dark corner that needs your light.
Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived in the service of others is worth living.”
First we must learn to be of service to ourselves.
Serve yourself first. Only then can you be an open channel for love in order to serve others.
Write your own story first, crafting yourself from the inside out, providing for yourself and fulfilling your vision without expectation of what will come.
Then go confidently into the world and smile at a stranger, even when you don’t feel like smiling.
That is when you will make the biggest impact.
Live to serve and you will discover that as much as you give selflessly, it will return to you abundantly.
Gordon B. Hinckley said, “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.”
There is no way to find out if this is true unless you practice it.
So start today. Begin now.
Start by noticing the first opportunity you come across to serve someone else.
Take that opportunity.
And then the next. And the next.
Trust in the truth that Booker T. Washington stated when he said, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Once you learn this truth for yourself, you will become the leader that you were born to be.
Because leadership is not only about making sure you achieve your vision, but about lifting others up as well.
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Then share it! We all need more positive reminders to serve. Who is the biggest example to you of service?