Service is life’s purpose
Making oneself useful to the world by love, peace & action
By Aditi Raman Shridhar
What do you crave for at the end of every day? A good sleep or soothing music, yummy food or cozy time with your loved ones, a jog in the park or a comedy play at the city theatre, a chat with a friend or a hobby pursued alone, or all of these? No matter what action you choose, the end result that each one of us desires is always love,
laughter, happiness, fulfilment and peace. Doesn’t every creative endeavour, every business deal, every partnership in personal and professional life and every physical action taken to enjoy better health only aim at making you feel happier? So, isn’t being happy the real purpose of life?
Now, with that sorted out that the real and only purpose of life is to be unconditionally happy (sadly, the majority of people waste their entire lives wondering what they are here for), let’s explore what more you could do to enhance the quality of your being.
Happiness is just the first step. Life begins from here.
As a happy individual, you are not likely to use harsh words with others, lose equanimity of mind, be deterred from doing fruitful action for yourself and your family and most importantly, wherever you go, you are likely to bring cheer on people’s faces. You wouldn’t easily run into conflicts and even if you do, you will be able to resolve them easily and amicably. Once you are an unconditionally happy and peaceful person, every service you think of will also be about bringing the same feeling in other individuals. You will offer your skills to others, teach them to be better at their work, may be even bring about simple and powerful changes in your home and office and you are the person everyone will want to be around. As you are happy.
Likewise, service to self and others and the planet at large are the three most noble forms of actions any individual can take. It is almost like a payback to Mother Nature (although we can never match up to what Nature offers us, but we can try in some small percentage).
Any endeavour you take to make others’ lives easier, more pleasant and happier, you are doing a noble service. And through this you will be able to expands your own existence a million-fold. It is not necessary to reach out to thousands of people overnight, but transforming only one life is a monumental achievement.
In many seminars and classrooms that I have attended and have had the privelege of speaking at, I see teenagers and adults talking about their lofty ideas and dreams that sound unachievable and misdirected at times. They dream of having more followers than the number of people they can transform, they dream of having more money than the skills they can impart and they dream of converting the entire planet into a peaceful heaven without being able to accept themselves fully and having peace at their own homes. I have often tuned into the News Channels broadcasting conferences held by the United Nations on conflict-resolution among countries and steps taken for bringing global peace, but is any member sitting inside the walls of the UN able to be at peace with themselves and resolve conflicts in their own household amicably? I doubt.
All services must begin with serving the self, to gain a true perspective of what the service has to offer. As a teacher, I must be able to love myself first before teaching kids how to do that. I must have all the skill sets polished before i impart it to others. If my own service brings me peace and positivity and helps me in various parts of my life, then it is a guarantee that it will bring the same results in most other’s lives.
Children learn by imitation and examples. If the adults have a healthy lifestyle, a happy marriage, a peaceful home and a fine work-life balance, they would never have to sit and teach their kids how to achieve any of these. Guess what! The children will adopt it on their
REPLACING SURVIVAL MINDSET BY SERVICE
Much of the world still lives in survival. Even in the most developed nation – the United States, the increasing standards of living are only making people survive from one paycheck to another. Life has become a continuous journey of acquiring better homes and better cars and
better interiors and better travel gear and business and first class, and lesser about being happier, lighter, carefree and making others happier and more peaceful too.
Looking at the United States, it may seem that compared to most of the world, Americans are thriving but what is truly happening is that they are only jumping from survival to a higher quality of survival, getting trapped in the belief that life is a pyramid and they have to reach the top. There is no top, there is no peak to conquer, and no position to acquire. There is only evolution of oneself as an individual. When you contribute to your surroundings, you uplift yourself and those around you. There is more positive energy and more happiness and more fulfilment. And this contribution doesn’t happen at the top of the pyramid, but it occurs throughout every stage of life.
Even if you are poor and have no family and have no home, you can still make a difference in others’ lives by showing them how to be happy and peaceful and how to achieve dreams without being a victim of stress and anxiety.
HOW TO BE OF SERVICE?
A lot of people want to do a lot of things and be of real service to others but they often get trapped in the question – What do I have to offer to the world. And will it get me money.
Let me ask you right now and help you clear your problem. What can you teach me right now, what can you offer to me right now that can make my life better? What is it that you can do that will be willing to pay you for this moment to make my life better. Is it your voice and music, or a knowledge that I don’t have, a life-skill such as meditation or exercises or good food recipes, is it a beautiful nail art or a makeover that you can give me to transform my physical appearance, it is a coaching at for some specific job or a motivational speech to get me up and about? Whatever it is that you can offer to me right now to increase the value of my life is your service.
If you are a student, you can serve at your home by helping out your parents in home chores. If you are a businessman then you can produce healthy, organic and chemical-free substances that also eco-friendly.
If you are a homemaker, you can serve your neighbours with good bakery or good food if you love cooking, or coach students in a subject or create a ladies’ group and have a good social network that is beneficial to everyone in that group. If you are unemployed and are not able to find a good suitable job, start a business of your own that is through your service. Any skill that you have that can be of value to others, make it available to the world. so many people have made high-profit businesses through YouTube by imparting knowledge to others or entertaining them through comedy, music, dance, cooking or other forms of creative arts.
SERVICE AND MONEY
A lot of people are unable to serve others or start businesses of their own because of the lack of money or in the inability to envision value of their own services. A doctor may feel competition from other doctors in town but if he can impart some newness in his care and healing, a new gadget to scan a disease or a faster equipment to heal his patients then he need not worry about his livelihood. Money is directly correlated to the value of your service. You can be a small time painter and make money by teaching painting to kids or create portraits of families and charge them for it. You can turn your passion into a full time business by making products of other businesses more aesthetic and eye-catching. Designing, whether it be of space, shoes, jewellery, gadgets, crockery, apparel or anything at all that are man-made is a profession in itself and who better than a painter to do it most beautifully?
“But no one may want to avail my service,” is a common self talk and doubt in many people. It doesn’t matter what your service is. The only requirement is that you make it publicly available and you will find your crowd. Find value in your service, believe that it is important and can enhance the quality of your and other people’ lives and you will set it off like a business. It is a guarantee.
Monks, who spend their whole lives meditating and praying in isolation have so much enlightenment and peace to offer to others. They do not sell products but they guide humanity and you, sitting in the comfort of your bedroom can access their talks on internet. They relieve
stress from people’s lives. What could be a bigger service? Architects design beautiful spaces for you to sit and eat in, parks where you can run and relax. All of these are services.
So, what is your service to the world? Hope you find it and bring it into motion right this moment.
Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian writer, wellness and health instructor .