On Being at Service

by Joe Penniston

Being at service to ourselves, to others or a cause is a personal offer that requires some attention and energy.

It is the energy placed in a constant relationship to re-discover the present moment and both our needs and the needs of others.

Those are context-dependant relationships. To exercise listen to ourselves and to the context is a fundamental competence of the ones who serve well. And exactly because all agreements between people are contextual ones, when changes happens, it is only natural we will need to put those agreements to the test.

Pin by Nicole Milburn

Bob at Service

No wonder it doesn’t seem possible to objectively point to someone how one can be at service.

Being at service might mean a closer look into ourselves in some cases, but to look closely to others at other times. It might mean get someone’s hand to help them cross the street, but also to only observe a child struggling to solve a challenge. It might mean to speak more or to speak less, to act more or less, to be on stage more or less.

Periodic Checks

What we declare and offer to one another does not have a clear expiration date, but does need periodic checks. And for that we are invited to live the discipline to check without being asked to, without necessarily waiting for the present to look old.

Being at service of what is new requires the action of reviewing our agreement with ourselves and with others on a regular basis.

If changes are constant and many aren’t even perceived by us, how can one know the right moment to stop and reflect about those agreements? What strategies can we create to get in touch with the actual context we are living?

Create spaces for yourself and for others and ask.

Later, just listen and pay attention.

Being at service comes with our capacity to live in the present context and to apply our purpose on it. It is also about our capacity to continuously look and reestablish the new.

Like the arts, we learn to be at service simply with the exercise of being and of reconnecting with this place.

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