To serve has its own rewards

This is a question that could be relevant to all human beings. Any humble human being would consider it a privilege to serve others and make others happy. Are you happy or unhappy? May be you have much wealth but you are not happy. You have a well-paid and respected job and yet you are not happy. It could happen that others praise you or appreciate you, but you, in your heart of hearts, are not happy. You do not experience a sense of well-being. May be it is high time you learnt the meaning of genuine service and the joy and happiness that it gives.

Mahatma Gandhi was not a poor man but made himself a poor man to identify himself with the masses of the poor in the land and set out to serve the poor, the impoverished and the oppressed of all sorts. People praised him and hung on to his words but what gave him immense joy was only service. He would not hesitate to take the broom and sweep or sit and spin at his charka like any poor labourer. This definitely gave him peace and joy.

A former prime minister like Lal Bahadur Sahstri was comparatively a poor man and did not amass wealth and exulted in service to the nation. We could multiply examples from history. Jesus, too, has given an example of service. He says explicitly: “I came to serve and not to be served unto”. At the Last Supper before his death, he gave an example of humble service by washing the feet of his disciples!

So it is not wealth that will give you happiness; your vast erudition can only make you head-strong but service to others can certainly give you genuine peace and happiness. Such a service mindedness flows out of genuine humility which is nothing but in truth to accept our basic human weaknesses and inadequacies.

We are not almighty God but only creatures and hence contingent and not necessary beings. When we perceive the truth about ourselves then it is easier to serve selflessly and genuinely. The resultant peace and joy is not sought but comes in normally and naturally.

Look around and you are sure to find a number of occasions wherein you can be of service to your neighbour. Sometimes it happens that we look far a field to serve when perhaps the person we should serve is my husband, wife, child or aged parents.

It is also true that it is not the greatness of the task but rather the simple tokens of care and concern, even a look or a word of sympathy can be a service needed by that person at that time. So try to do simple service to others and find the joy and peace that is eluding you right now.

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