Service Above Self
As written by Rtr. Samadhi Gunawardane
Do you remember writing the first-ever essay on “myself”? Probably it was about family, hobbies, pets, and feelings. Isn’t it? But what if you have none of these things? What will be in your new essay on “myself”? Let us figure this out.
The great Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Even if you lose all your possessions, you will still be “someone” to others when you choose to serve others regardless of yourself, age, position, profession, and status. In other words, your existence itself will be useful and meaningful to the world when you help communities around you with those humble thoughts of yours.
“But isn’t it hard to forget the well-being of ourselves and think about other people in need?”, you may ask. It simply takes only a WHAT IF as the answer to that question. What if that other person fighting cancer is your favorite neighbor? What if the person suffering from poverty is your relation? What if the person being bullied every day is your friend? And what if the person dying from hunger is your family? Would you get out of your comfort zone to offer a helping hand to them? Service above self is all about acknowledging that we all are the same and giving a helping hand to others at anytime, every time we can, expecting nothing in return, as it is the most elegant way to live a worthwhile life.
Far more than the things we could do, we could say, it is what we choose to do, choose to say reveals our true selves to be seen by the world. All it matters is what we choose to act upon. So, let us always be humble and put away our egos, to serve human beings who need us while building empathy to connect and make everlasting efforts together.
We, Rotaractors have come together to serve and to amplify our humble service mindset from ourselves to beyond, to fulfill this same purpose of creating a positive and long-lasting impact on the world. That is why SERVICE ABOVE SELF has become the motto of the Rotary family.
In the end, your essay on “myself” will not be about what were you born with and what you had in life but what you have become and the things you gave away to become the person you have grown to be. It will show that you have lived one fascinating life.