Friday, August 30, 2013

What Is the Best Kind of Service?

I separate the answer to the question in the title into two categories:

What is the best kind of service for me?

As a giver, the best kind of service is that which I choose (or am inspired) to give.  There is great value in "organized service" - but the service I give proactively means more to me as I give it, speaking broadly. 

As a receiver, the best kind of service is what I need - not what others think I need and especially not what they assume I need when I really don't.  I appreciate almost all efforts to help me in some way, but there have been cases in my life when I would rather not have received what was given - simply because it wasn't needed.  

For those who receive my service, what is the best kind of service?

What they need - and, especially, that for which they ask when able to do so.   I think we miss wonderful opportunities to give what truly is needed when we fail to ask before giving what we assume is needed. 

Outside of expressed need, the best service generally has been that which I give naturally when I happen to be where and when it is needed the most and that which I am impressed to give "unnaturally" (when I have felt I needed to give what I normally would not give) - and that which requires communal effort to achieve.

With that in mind, it's interesting to me that, perhaps, we can't serve fully unless we serve individually AND as part of a community.

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