Kelly Fernandez 1/11/17
Although a priority does need to remain on one constantly evaluating their progress toward their vision and manifesting their quality of life, service manifests on taking time to listen and pay attention to the vision and quality of life for others, still emphasizing the quality of life of those not born yet and whom won’t be born for the next 200 years. I have learned much from a particular style of service by working among Americorps members. This national group has endless possibilities and opportunities for bringing their own ideas and creativity to an organization’s shared mission by enacting service hours. These individuals are being immersed in populations either familiar or unfamiliar and are given the means to live by which are equivalent to the median means of those already living within the community. Thus, they are given an opportunity to share an experience with the population which they are serving in however talents they bring forth. This group structure provides a strong example of providing space for shared experience while filling their mandatory hours with strong work for community building.
It is always okay to not know the correct answer to any question. It is perfectly valid to not understand the feeling or action of another. We all have different experiences for the potential sake of sharing these experiences and feel enlightened and feel gratitude toward those we learn from.
These are mantras in my brain when dealing with questions of one’s privilege and what that privilege means for that person’s existence. I have been able to grasp a solid mindfulness of my own privilege as a white American through paying attention to the world around me and allowing myself to feel uncomfortable. In this realm, I welcome skills that help me pay attention and understand that it is okay to not understand, such as listening and participating when necessary. This participation takes place when there is an identified need for service, which can exist on many different levels.
Service requires one to learn and do something that is benefiting the existence of other beings around them, including and not limited to the Earth, animals, community, and for the overall biological community of the next 200 years minimum. Thinking seven generations ahead becomes more and more natural as one participates in service and listening. Service can include the simplest movements of the hands and mindful actions of a human for the sake of serving another’s experience, even if that other is not even born yet. These are potential reasons for why we recycle and why we choose to learn to grow our own food. Those who write policy and act as advocates have the option of serving the next seven generations by thinking ahead and keeping in mind the resources at hand now and what resources can and will be lost in the future. Resource building for the future potential births and deaths of the planet is an example of serving life.
Acknowledging life and many potential qualities of life is an option available to all developed thinkers. Builders have the choice to create building blocks for sustaining life for the next 200 years, rather than building structures with a roof that might need replaced within the next 20 years. This is true of business model structures and habitat management, one has an option to utilize functions with the future of potential life in mind. The potential for life can hold endless possibilities which can be humbly accepted by sharing experience and hands for available service.
It is of service for a mother to acknowledge her own breath and quality of breath for herself, her child, and the next 200 years of individuals who will transform simply by the existence of herself. Humans have a bizarre impact upon each other and we can acknowledge the potential impact of one action on another’s feelings, which will eventually manifest into their own action. A human service to one’s life experience can potentially serve as a disservice to another one’s life experience. To be mindful of this is potentially a manner of service within itself.
I wanted to provide these particular examples of potential service and potential impact to get away from the idea of service popping into someone’s head as a volunteer opportunity for which they can earn credit by tracking hours for. This is an image that has directly affected academic students who acquire means of service in order to fill a requirement for an almost invisible selfish need, such as a scholarship or a resume builder. There is something more concrete and sustainable for one’s heart to acknowledge the heavy potential of life around them and the heavy potential of life for the next 200 years. The individual having to justify an action of service within their heart can exist on a much more natural plane if we can peel off the obligatory layer that has been nailed into the back of our heads. Justifying the means of a service is doing ourselves a service for satisfaction with the choices we decide to make. Let’s try to take a step back from the urgency that has been placed upon the progression of our own utility and our own mark on the planet.
The heart of service swells and dances with taking time to remember why we live and what it means for us to wake up everyday. We can remember how our loved ones make us feel and how our own biological community operates with us in mind. Acknowledging the service that the planet does offer to us and what disservices us can help us to maintain this particular mindfulness . This thought process in the work we do should justify why we would buy something, participate, listen, speak, and learn. Whether or not embracing this heart of service is a requirement for whatever career/personal development may exist, one will have to answer to themselves regarding their own vision and quality of life eventually. If serving the next seven generations has not made it to one’s consideration, then what makes you live everyday?