Island News

Service and religion

Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. Sometimes we want to save the world. Fight injustice, feed the poor, and care for the masses. Sometimes it starts with something little, and
19 Mar 2011 12:00

image Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. Sometimes we want to save the world. Fight injustice, feed the poor, and care for the masses. Sometimes it starts with something little, and sometimes it is something major.

What is service?
A person should strive to use every talent and skill they have, not only for his or her own benefit, but also for the benefit of others. Understand that society is the source of whatever pleasure one derives and whatever wealth one achieves in life.
We owe everything to society for all that we receive from it. We have to repay this debt by helping at least as many people as we can.
With a genuine keenness and readiness to serve others, one can obtain happiness in any group or community, and the willingness to serve others will provide you with the power and skill necessary for the required service.
Nowadays, we tend to regard it as derogatory to serve, but there is great worth in serving others.
To some extent, we have become selfish, that we no longer care for others, or anything other than our own welfare. When we constantly think only of our own body, our own family and our own comfort, we become a selfish person.
Only selfless service can encourage a person to reach the higher state of humanity.
Selfless service alone gives the needed strength and courage to awaken the sleeping humanity in one’s heart.
Shouldn’t all service be regarded as an offering to God? And every opportunity to serve should be welcomed as a gift to God.
When service is done in this spirit, it will lead to self-realisation.
Someone has said, “Service is the highest spiritual discipline. Prayer and meditation, or knowledge or scripture cannot help you reach the goal as quickly as service can. Service has a double effect: it extinguishes the ego and gives bliss.”
There is not a single country in the world where the name of Mahatma Gandhi is not known.
Do you know why Gandhiji became so famous? It was because he dedicated his whole life to the service of the motherland, and service to humanity. The values of truthfulness, honesty, and integrity were instilled in him from the very beginning.
Service to humanity also includes service to our society at large.
We should at least take one hour a week towards serving others.
We need to expand our hearts to include all humanity.
To care for our own interests, and those of our own families only is a constriction of our hearts and minds.
Such constriction eventually results in loneliness and unhappiness-something that is present in this world today.
Service to humanity, slowly and steadily broadens one’s heart and mind, brings with it unexpected feelings of happiness, and it begins to transform the community around us as well.
Our service to others may have benefited others, but it benefits us as well.
We should always remember that when we are serving another, we are also serving the Divine at the same time.
This is something we forget too quickly, for it needs a very big mental readjustment.
Don’t worry about anything when you serve others- just serve.
But the very least that is demanded of us is to respect the person or community or society we are serving.
That includes respecting their beliefs, values and traditions.
It means putting ourselves in their shoes, cheering them up if possible, but seeing things from their point of view.
For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy.
Without these qualities, selfless service cannot be performed.
Whether it is social service, physical service, spiritual service or volunteer service, it should be done without prejudice and with love.
Have we given any thought on how just a simple act of kindness can change the world?
If you don’t have time or money to make a positive change in your society at this point of time, look for the simple things you can do – smile at someone and greet them, do a favour for the neighbor or colleague.
There is always something you can do, remember that the little things can bring about big changes.
When Mahatma Gandhi died, not only India but the whole world mourned the death of this great man – a real mahatma, who had dedicated his entire life to the service of humanity, and taught the importance of truth, brotherhood, peace, non-violence, equality and simplicity.
The most befitting tribute that we can pay him is to follow the path he has shown us.
To claim that the goal of an ideal education must be service to humanity may


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