If I identify myself as a successful businessman, my mind has happy thoughts when I earn well. But if I were to get bankrupt, then distress will engulf my consciousness. However when fixed in the identity of being a soul that’s different from the mind and body, and when fixed in viewing the soul as a servant of God or divinity or the universe, then this ‘service’ mood nourishes us in all situations.
If you are a ‘servant,’ then when you sing well, you are happy because you served well, and when you lose your voice, you can still serve in other ways. On the other hand, when my identity is of an enjoyer, I seek to exploit and tend to get selfish. Conflicts and anxieties are natural by-products of a self-centered life.
The more we cultivate an attitude to serve, the more we rise beyond the painful dualities of this world. Of course, you don’t get to see much in the news about ‘servants’. The media is abuzz with exciting stories of successful enjoyers. Ironically, even those who give billions away in charity can be enjoyers; there’s glamour in being the lord and great in everything we do. Puzzlingly it’s in being small and in being a servant that we feel most fulfilled and closer to our real identity of being the pure soul.
Howard Zinn was against Fascism and therefore joined the US Airforce and dropped bombs and fought wars. Later driven by his conscience, he researched and was appalled to discover how many innocent civilians had been killed by his following the orders of his superiors. He investigated more and to his horror found that his military officials were motivated more by their career growth than legitimate military objectives. His life changed dramatically after that; he became a crusader of peace. As a social activist and historian, he helped the world see wars and human rights differently. He championed the cause of service for which he won many awards. His impressive words remind us of the power of simple acts of service: “Small acts when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”Therefore let’s take the simple first step to think beyond our minds; let’s serve. It doesn’t have to be immense and impressive to be profoundly significant and to make a difference in this world.