It’s all too easy to dismiss the world as cruel and heartless. But in truth, the compassionate mind is real. Believe it or not, we all have one!
When we see someone suffering or if someone’s suffering reminds us of our own painful experiences, compassion is a natural, intrinsic automatic response. We develop what is known as empathy or compassion for another person. Our compassionate minds are what allows for our continued existence in this world. They keep our brains going the way air keeps our lungs breathing! Compassionate minds feel compelled to speak up for the little guy. They love hearing successful underdog stories and are driven to help people overcome inequalities. Those with a compassionate mind get the concept of serving others. They understand that the most important works in this world is to be of service to others.
What compels others to serve?
In some respects, giving to others is not just about other people. Did you know by helping others you help yourself emotionally and psychologically? We are all born with an innate need to be altruistic. It’s true! Even as children we thrive on the ability to be helpful to our parents. It generates a sense of pride or positive energy that simply says I am capable of helping others. I have something to give. I can contribute. This proves itself true across occupations, disciplines, religions, sports, etc. We love to help others, because of how it feels to know we have been helpful.
Humans are social creatures which works well when you have to network and make new contacts. Therefore we do best when we have the opportunity to be a part of something larger than ourselves. The greater good! Even as this article is being written the idea is to pass on information that will allow any of its readers to learn, be challenged, and to serve those in need. What would happen if everyone saw themselves and their jobs as contributing to the greater good of the world? It would mean no job is too big or too small but each serving its own distinct purpose that allows for the human race to preserve and prosper.
Making service central to your purpose
The most important thing you can do in life is allowing yourself to be of service to others. Many times as therapists we are charged with creating selfish individuals that are only seeking to serve their own needs. The reality is that we guide people on an endless journey of self-discovery and awareness that leads to the ultimate reality of the undying need to serve others, but from a healthy perspective. As we are working to perfect their abilities to think and receive information adequately, we are actually allowing them to do their jobs of working with or for others better.
In our personal lives, service can come in many forms. We can take care of our family members. We can volunteer for causes that we care about. We can get involved in a religious community, or just be neighborly. I’m sure you remember being helped by someone in the past and how much you appreciated it. You probably also recall how nice it was to help someone else. And in our professional lives, service is often the key factor in our employment. We work for customers or coworkers. We help to solve problems or answer questions. We step up when someone needs special help, and we are thankful when others do the same for us.
If you begin to think about your role as a parent, a sibling, a colleague, a citizen, or a human being as a willing servant to others, you’ll find yourself happier and healthier. It’s a gift to be kind and useful. And it’s one you can keep giving, year after year after year!