I’m all for being a productive member of society.  Not so much about the money, but actually being a functioning member of my community.  You know, paying my taxes so we can all have safe roads and bridges and such, helping where help is needed such as donating time and funds to good causes, and making sure what I do to support myself helps others as well as myself.  It’s kinda the infinity loop we want in life, I do good things and provide good things and therefore make a good life for myself which allows me to do good things and provide good things….   And that for me is one of the keys to the proposition.  Being a productive member of society or being in service is about an equal balance of person and product.

Being in service isn’t a circle where I give everything and wait for things to come around because very little in life is actually circular.  Yes the wheels of the bus go round and round, but then the tire goes flat, the bus driver loses his mind, the authorities take him away for anger management sessions and angry parents start going to meetings which dissolve into chaos while we get rides to school which is what we wanted in the first place. Service as a circle is actually an unbalanced model.  The person giving gives everything and relinquishes responsibility for taking care of themselves, expecting the universe or the government, their partner/spouse, their family, their community, or Santa Clause to support them for doing all this work.  We know these people as saints we idolize but can’t stand to be around, co-dependents who we love, but aren’t around even when they are around, or workaholics who we would love if they were ever around.

Infinity SYMBOLThe like to think that the infinity symbol of being in service is a bit healthier.  My life supports my work and my work supports my life.  They are interconnected and feed into each other, but they are not each other.  They are separate lobes of an entire person.  There’s work life balance, in fact there’s no balance without the two being equal and equally active.  In this model the person is responsible for their own health and happiness.  That doesn’t mean they are islands closed off from the world, don’t need help at times, aren’t interconnected with other people and the community, but they aren’t making any of those responsible for their health and wellbeing.  In the infinity model not only do we honor and support the divinity in all beings, we recognize it in ourselves and start where we are, within ourselves, nurturing our own piece of starlight so we have something to offer others rather than ignoring it and hoping others prize it enough to nurture it for us.

So to me being full service means not only supporting others, but supporting the self.  Because how better to help others than to lead by example.