What are you a servant of?
Set aside the illusion of indulgence for a second, and tell yourself what you are currently a servant of.
If you are a secular person, this might be a new experience, and you may feel that you are no one’s servant, that you are your own person.
You live by your own rules.
What are those rules? What guides them? What do those rules serve?
Are you a servant of beauty? A servant of curiosity? A servant of fear?
I would not recommend denying that you serve anything. It makes you helpless.
When you see what you are a servant of, you can decide to serve something else. If you deny that you are a servant, you can not change yourself, your experience, or your outcome.
Many faiths and practices ask you to pass through service. They ask of believers to seek the humility required to bow your head, to take direction, to give up the decision to another power. Critics of these faiths are known to point to that request as a method of creating subservients, of removing the will from the believer.
I have stepped in thorny territory here. Let me say — so I may return to my main concern — that I believe a useful faith practice comes from choice. The practitioner chooses every day to participate, that their actions acknowledge that they could turn away from the practice. They are involved because it is the best for them.
If you are not a servant to a god, are you a servant to your community? To your family? To your truth?
What will serving that bring about?
Service itself is a gift. I was reminded last night by a dear friend that the ideal of love is perhaps expressed as the Greek work agape, “a universal love that transcends, that serves, regardless of conditions.” It is amazing to be the recipient of agape, but I know from experience that living as a conduit of “service without conditions” is a greater feeling still, that in the brief moments I have been a great conduit of care, I have felt the most richly human.
Aspiring to great service is a highly fulfilling ideal.
I wish for us all happiness and fulfillment. I wish for us that we may provide more service than we receive.
If, after reading this, you say that you are no servant, please do one thing for me. Say this line to yourself:
“I am a servant of my own independence.”
I write to learn. Please bravely share, respond, countermand, or otherwise participate with me. Thank you.