“Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.”
– Shirley Chisholm
Imagine our world without all the individuals and organizations whose sole purpose is to serve other people and who do so just for the sake of making a difference in the lives of others and making our country and the world a better place in which to live.
In truth, organizations in and of themselves are nothing; it is the individuals who serve others through those organizations who make the difference.
Think about this: Without these selfless and caring individuals, there would be no American Red Cross, no hospice organizations, no United Way, no service groups such as Rotarians, Kiwanis, Optimists, Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, YWCA, no Braille Institute, no Salvation Army, no homeless shelters or shelters for abused people, no free clinics, no Habitat for Humanity, no community volunteer groups, and no churches, synagogues, temples or mosques.
As you undoubtedly realize by now, this list could be much longer, couldn’t it?
A world devoid of these types of people and service organizations would be beyond devastating. It would be a truly cold and desolate place to live.
So, the question I ask you to ponder today is: What is it that exists in the hearts of those individuals who serve for the betterment of humanity that inspires them to do so?
Surely, qualities such as compassion, loving, kindness and generosity come to mind, and yet there is more to it than that. I believe most of these people have a deep inner calling, a knowing that they have come to this planet to add their unique energy to the evolving soul of humankind.
I believe that we have all come with this calling, it is just a matter of waking up- becoming fully conscious and remembering it.
In one of my favorite songs, “Love, Serve and Remember,” John Astin sings, “Why have you come to earth, do you remember? Why have you taken birth? Why have you come? To love, serve and remember . . . to love, serve and remember . . . to love, serve and remember to love.”
I ask you now to live in this question: Why have you come to earth and why have you taken birth at this particular time? The answer lies within.
As you awaken to the presence of God within you, you will remember and the answer will be revealed.
You and I have come here to touch life in a way no other person can, leaving this planet a better place than it was when we arrived.
In the East, this is referred to as seva, which is a Sanskrit word that means “selfless service dedicated to God.”
Every person in your life is there as an opportunity for you to remember why you have come to earth. Every person, every event, every circumstance you encounter offers you a gift: yet another chance to love, serve and remember to love. That’s why you and I are here.
Dennis Merritt Jones is the spiritual director for OneSpirit Center for Conscious Living.