Monday, October 11, 2010

Can Service be Selfish?

**Warning. Random thinking may be involved in this post**

I had the opportunity to do something the other day. Something good. As with most things we choose, there were a thousand possible consequences to my choice to do, or not do, this thing.

But as I weighed the pros and cons, the whole issue boiled down to one point. It felt like the right thing to do. And for me, that’s all that mattered.

Well, okay. Not ALL, all. But maybe the most important thing.

I have this thing—this, IDK maybe it’s compassion?—where I feel like the condition of the human spirit is one of the most important parts of life. Like, it should be a priority, you know? And my spirit is always healthier when those around me, or who I care about, are somewhat balanced.

While this sounds like a good thing, it also feels selfish. I have to wonder if I serve others more for their benefit or mine. If I do something—no matter how good—that inadvertently (eventually) comes back to benefit me, did I really do it for them? Or for me?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t generally do nice things for selfish reasons. At least, not consciously. But it becomes a cause and effect thing. Like one of Newton’s laws. Every good deed must reap a reward. It’s Karma.

Has my subconscious figured this out? And if it has, are my good decisions really selfish?

If that’s true, I don’t know how to change it. Maybe it shouldn’t be changed at all. Or maybe there’s more I can do to serve others. (Wait, did I just say maybe? Make that definitely.) Maybe I should stop over thinking it and go with instinct.

I’m not necessarily looking for the universe to bow to my needs when I hold the door open for someone, you know? (Though I wouldn’t complain if it did.) My life is full of miracles. And if events in it don’t always work on my timetable or the way I want them to happen—well. I’m probably better off. Because when it comes down to it, I choose to do the things that make my spirit feel balanced.

And that, my friends, is the healthiest way to be.

**Random thinking concluded. Carry on.**


Christine Fonseca said...

"choose to do the things that make my spirit feel balanced" - that is the only way to go! <3 ya

Carolyn V. said...

I love service (although sometimes I find it hard to get started on service), but I love the way I feel afterward...always good. =D

lotusgirl said...

Sometimes I don't know where to begin, but I love finding things I can do for others and doing them.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I've always thought service could feel selfish...but when you get right down to it, it's anything but selfish when you're doing it for the reason to help someone else. Feeling good about it is a perk. :)

L.T. Elliot said...

I think service is always a good thing. One of my favorite quotes came from the back of a dove chocolate. It said, "The reward for a good deed is to have done it." And you're right about the karma. Good things are rewarded with good things.