The Practice of Service

12 Jun

{This post is part of a recurring series of thoughts about service to our children}

It is important to recognize that truly supplying others with what they need requires a certain level of consciousness and alertness. For example, if you are working on a project with a friend who is holding a 2×4 in one hand and a nail in the other, what he probably needs next is his hammer. Simply stated, giving him his hammer is service. It is especially helpful if you give it to him before he has to ask for it. This is anticipation, which comes from awareness. This is service at its best—it is a simple and pragmatic. It is an effective and extremely helpful response to a need.

Service for children

However, the practice of service is often significantly more complicated when dealing with the emotions, thought patterns, personalities, and other psychological aspects of our kids. Regular and consistent attempts to serve their needs will go a long way in building our relationship with them. Our attempts may not be perfect, but they will register and begin to foster a deep and sincere communication.

Their needs vs. your needs

I truly believe that if we have a child’s best interest in mind, we should take a moment to listen, obtain perspective, and then select an approach that will serve their needs first to build a better and stronger bridge. This is certainly not easy. The goal of genuine service is to select the response that best serves their needs rather than choosing a response that most suits yours or the most expedient.

To read more posts in this series, come back to read Service Stemming From Compassion on June 14th.

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