Self-Transformation Series:
Issue No. 21

The Advantages of Service-Orientedness

Table of Contents

  1. Why Important
  2. The Higher and the Lower Selves
  3. Applications
  4. 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 Self.

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.

III. Applications

  1. Relationships

    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.
  2. 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 so.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Personal Fulfillment and Happiness

    Not many people realize that rendering service to others is one of the greatest source of personal fulfillment.
  6. 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 or self-realization.

IV. How To Start

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 talents.

[Back to Menu][Your Comments]

Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines

"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be peace."