Posts Tagged ‘service’

Take Loving Action

One of my personal heroes is Mother Teresa, who spent her later years teaching and serving others. She once remarked, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning. Love must be put into action, and that action is service.” These words have inspired me and have helped me make the shift away from my ego’s Ambitions for serving myself toward a life dominated by service to others. Today my life is almost 100 percent devoted to service in one way or another. Each day begins with a prayer of “Thank you,” which are the first words out of my mouth as I awaken. This is to keep me in a state of gratitude for all that I receive, as well as for the opportunity to live my days in service to others.

Before beginning my day, I make every effort to do something for someone else. Since I receive volumes of mail, I often send off a book or a DVD of The Shift, a set of CDs, or a DVD of a PBS special—something that I feel will brighten the day of a total stranger somewhere in the world. As I affix the postage, I take great joy in knowing that a surprise package of love in action will send a message to someone that there are people out there who care, and I am one of them.

Often I call someone I’ve been told is grieving the loss of a loved one or is ill in a hospital setting. Other times some money in an envelope goes to one of the many people who serve in my community. If I’m on the road in a hotel, I seek out the maids who serve me so anonymously and surprise them with a gift of some unexpected cash. The things I’m doing aren’t reported here for recognition, but to provide real-life examples of how shifting from Ambition to Meaning affects daily life. The ego seeks recognition, but in a life of Meaning, loving action is its own reward. I’m reminded of Ram Dass, who told me that his years of putting his ego aside and being of service to his mother, father, and stepmother; as well as to people with AIDS and cancer, were the most fulfilling and meaningful times in his life. There are a multitude of ways in which we can give. It doesn’t really matter what we do—the point is to get in the habit of replacing our attention on ourselves with attention toward others and take loving action.

Our Better Angels

The devastating earthquake that shook the island nation of Haiti on January 12 speaks to all of us. The number of lives lost staggers the imagination—once and growing toward twice the entire population of Maui, the island I call home. My prayers have been very deep for the healing that needs to take place on Haiti. All of us can send our prayers, our love, as well as our financial and material support. Whenever a crisis such as this happens, the better angels within all of us begin to take over. In times of crisis, our true humanity begins to show. We forget what divides us and people everywhere on the planet come together to help. You see people digging through rubble, working 18-20 hour days without sleep, flying in from all over the world, saying, “How may I be of service?” It’s the mantra of the higher self—“how may I serve” rather than “what’s in it for me” or “what I don’t like about you.” Whether it’s a tsunami or an earthquake or a hurricane or any kind of natural disaster or even a war-like disaster, it brings out our true nature, our original nature as Lao-tzu calls it, which is reverence for all life, kindness, simplicity, caring, and serving. We show our love for God by serving one another. And there are miracles—lives saved against all odds—to remind us how fragile and precious life is. will be broadcasting a special edition of the Hay Foundation’s “Acts of Kindness” program on Wednesday, February 3 to raise funds for Haiti. Featured guest will be Dr. Carolle-Jean Murat whose Angels for Haiti Project has been providing medical and financial support for Haitian schoolchildren for many years and now is helping fund the relief effort. Please tune in. Every loving thought helps!