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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi

How do you define “service”?

This is not a rhetorical question.

We’re living in a wildly “me first” world in which “service” has been relegated to the back seat. Rear of the bus, segregated.

Or the idea of it is pigeon-holed into the comings and goings of those who work to please us at a restaurant, hotel, or resort.

Certainly, there are those for whom service is a way of life, a chosen vocation.

And for too many of us, it is not.

I watched the HBO mini-series, Show Me A Hero, (helmed by the brilliant David Simon of The Wire fame) over the weekend. The 6-part show centers on the municipal wheelings and dealings that the city of Yonkers (N.Y.) employed in the 80’s to enact a contentious Federal decision to provide low-income housing to minorities in predominately white neighbourhoods.

The outcome, while ultimately successful, comes at a cost to the community and their elected public servants, Yonkers’ city council members.

Too often, self-service seems to trump public service.

Also over the weekend, the BBC reported that Steven Hawkins has updated his doomsday clock: we have 100 years to populate another planet. “With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious.”

Ask any wise person, any spiritual leader, and they all agree: service is the path to peace.

Defining what service means and how best to offer it, is the journey of our lives, and our species, apparently.

So, ask yourself, what does it mean to be in service—to an ideal, a country, a person, yourself?

Your planet?

It’s time to start answering some important questions.

Because yours is not a rhetorical life.

“The idea of service leads to community.” ~Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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