Issue No. 21
The Advantages of
Table of Contents
- Why Important
- The Higher and the Lower Selves
- How to Start
I. Why Important
Many people do not realize that service-orientedness in whatever we do makes us more
effective in the affairs of our life: for our own happiness, relationships, work, and in the pursuit
of the spiritual life. Those who fail to understand this time-tested principle tend to look first after
their self-interest, and in the process, are distrusted or disliked by other people, causing further
difficulties in life. Service-orientedness not only brings personal happiness but brings about greater
harmony in society.
II. The Higher and the Lower Selves
It is helpful to understand first that in every one of us, there is a lower and a high self. The
lower self is the ego or personality, the one we used in daily life. The higher may be called
individuality, which consists of our higher mind, the spiritual consciousness, and our Higher
The personality tends to be self-protective, self-centered or selfish. This is the root of
personal unhappiness, problems in human relationships, and social conflicts.
The inner individuality is more objective and fair. When fully developed, compassion or
selfless love is awakened, leading to the experience of unity with all creatures.
Persons who are sensitive to the needs of others and are prepared to assist even in small
ways are more valued as friends or relatives, they are well-liked and they are likely to have more
harmonious relationships with other people. Sour relationships are a major cause of human
unhappiness, and this is often caused when a person mainly thinks of one's own benefit.
- Work and Profession
Whether you are a laborer or an executive, the tendency to be of help or be of service will
make you more successful and better appreciated. A salesperson who thinks of the welfare of his
customer will be better liked than one who is only thinking of his commissions. A doctor who is
genuinely concerned with his patients will have more clients than one who shows irritation when
the patient asks so many questions. A machine operator is certainly a candidate for promotion if
he is constantly looking for ways to improve the work situation even if he is not paid to do
- Marital Happiness
When each spouse genuinely seeks to serve the needs of the partner rather than think of his or her
own needs, then the happiness of the marital relationship is guaranteed.
- Social Improvement
Many citizens often think of their own convenience and refuse to render service to the larger
welfare. Thus they may carelessly throw wrappers or cans on the street or outside car windows,
not thinking that this is additional work for the street cleaner, when he can easily put them in the
waste basket. Then they complain about the poor city administration because the streets are dirty.
Or they may evade taxes and complain that the government is inefficient or corrupt, when they
may be the root causes of it.
- Personal Fulfillment and Happiness
Not many people realize that rendering service to others is one of the greatest source of personal
- Spiritual Life
Service-orientedness is but a facet of selflessness, which is the prerequisite to genuine spirituality.
It means that an individual is no longer beset with uncontrolled personality needs, such as
insecurity, attention, etc. He is now free to look into higher values that lead to self-actualization
IV. How To Start
- Every day, try to do small things to make someone else a bit happier than before. It can be
a simple greeting or smile, or providing a pencil or paper for someone who is looking for it, or
helping an elderly lady with her groceries. Constantly look for such small opportunities to serve,
especially in your home and among your family members. Show your appreciation to the pianist
in the restaurant or a traffic volunteer.
- In your work, decide to serve your customer as best and as cheerfully as you can. Customer
does not mean a buyer. It can be the next employee who will process your work output. If you
receive phone calls, decide to serve the needs of the caller to the utmost of your ability. Go out
of your way to do what is not even expected. Your life will change.
- See what you can do to help your community or society. Praise a public servant who has done
well. Donate things or money to your community organization if you cannot give time. If you are
interested in ecology, see if you can participate in some program and contribute your
Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City,
"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be