Tag Archives: service

Help: Asking and Offering

By Nancy S buck, PhD, RN

When you were a child did you learn the value of service? Perhaps your experience with scouts, church school, or some other kind of community group taught you that being of service to others is a virtue. Is this part of your experience?

Have you incorporated this into your morals and daily life practice? Do you and your children periodically purge toy boxes, book shelves, or other storage areas in your home to see what there is that you can give to others? Usually we discover more than a few items that are still in useful condition just no longer useful or necessary for our family.

helpinghands2It’s not surprising then to learn that there is increasing evidence from recent research that being of service to others is one factor contributing to positive Mental Health & Happiness. How wonderful to learn that being of service will help you as well as the people you are helping.

Let’s compare this idea with the common and equally powerful notion and belief in being a rugged individual. Do you believe that you must do it alone in order to be considered truly worthy of praise and success? After all the American way is being a rugged individual who pulls himself up by his boot straps, digs in and works hard, changing and making his own luck to finally succeed and make it on his own. 

How many of these cliches do you believe in? Are you using any of these beliefs to guide you toward your personal success?

Hmm . . how then to square the equally powerful notion of being fiercely independent while also being of service?

Perhaps you don’t see these as being in conflict. But if you are so fiercely independent does this keep you ask from asking for help and allowing another to be service to you?

Consider for a moment that no one can be completely independent. NO ONE! Even if you live alone and work alone, there are other people in your world who are going to work to provide you with the electricity you need, the grocery store or restaurant serving you to help you get your food, cooperative drivers on the road allowing you to travel safely to and from your destinations, and on and on.

Acts of service may not necessarily always be acts of kindness. But our lives would be dramatically different if there were not other people in the world doing their jobs and providing us with all of the necessities that make our lives better. These surely are acts of service.

Today consider how allowing others to serve you is actually an act of service and kindness in return. The next time you are determined to do something alone and seemingly independently, please remember that in fact there are many unknown and invisible people providing and serving you.

When you allow another person to offer you an act of service and you receive it, this is your own act of service in return. Receiving these offers with gratitude and kindness makes the exchange even better for you both!

It is equally rewarding for our Mental Health & Happiness to give and receive help. Together and interdependently we build each other’s Mental Health & Happinesss.

Daily gratitude at the post office

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Going to the post office has been a regular part of my daily routine for many years. I often have books to mail, packages to sign for and my business post box to check on.

For several years I lived in a rural part of Rhode Island where there was never a need to wait in  line. There were never that many customers. Now I’ve moved to a new state and into a city where everything has changed. Now I need a strategy about when to go to the post office. The best time is first thing in the morning, before the doors are even open. Although I still end up waiting in line, the wait is for the doors to be open instead of the long line of costumers in front of me.

Today I arrived at the post office before the doors opened. There was one man waiting in front of me. I was pleased to discover I was going to be the second person attended to. As so often happens, the fellow and I began to chat. It didn’t take long before I mentally named him Mr. Grumble-Grouch.

This is the worst post office in the district. All the people who work for the post office are just lazy. It’s because of the unions. People know they can’t be fired. It’s no wonder the post office is going bankrupt. 

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this is just a sample of all that he had to say.

I was thinking how wonderful it is that I can spend a little bit of time and a little bit of money and am able to send my book halfway around the world. I’m always delighted when I see the postal truck at my neighborhood complex delivering our mail. Yes, there are mistakes made. But I’m actually amazed at the number of mistakes compared to the quantity of accurately delivered mail. I am grateful for  the United States Postal Service delivering my mail through snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night.


Then there is Dave, the wonderful postal employee who works at my neighborhood post office. He is always polite, helpful, cheery, kind and sincere. I admit there are other postal workers at the counter who are not so pleasant or helpful. I don’t think I would call them lazy as Mr. Grumble-Grouch did. But it does seem as though they let people, events and circumstances interfere with their ability to interact kindly with each person they see. I know that the few minutes I experienced with Mr. Grumble-Grouch tested my patience and capacity for civility. And I wasn’t even the target of his angry complaining.

But not Dave. Dave has a secret. In fact the next time I’m in the post office, which might just be tomorrow, I’m going to ask him what his secret is. I know his ability to be pleasant and of service adds to my gratitude at this post office. I bet Dave has something to teach me about Mental Health & Happiness. I’m going to find out.

Stay tuned . . .


Happiness By Serving Others

By Mike Rice

Before anything can be ruled in, it must first be ruled out. It often takes several years for the world to accept a theory to be valid. Take, for example, Albert Einstein. His theory of E =took as long as 15 years before the scientific world finally said, “Hey! He’s right!”

einsteinOnce his theory was accepted, the world came knocking at his door. He became, what appeared to be, an overnight success. He was in all the newspapers and magazines all around the world over something he had almost forgotten due to the world’s reluctance to accept his theory. He was now considered “a genius,” when not too long ago, he had been known as a person who failed math.

After having appeared on hundreds of radio interviews and speaking engagements, he was getting tired of all the fuss over him and his discovery. He was now being asked many questions on matters that had nothing to do with his theory of relativity as well as those of which he had no knowledge. On one such interview, consisting of many newspaper and magazine writers, he was asked, “Dr. Einstein, what is our purpose on earth?”

With a look of disgust, he quietly turned his back to his audience and began collecting his notes that were spread out over a table and began packing them into his briefcase. He then headed toward the door but stopped and turned to the audience and said, “To serve others.” He then turned and walked out the door.

When you think about it, this is what we do . . . serve others. It matters not if you are the garbage collector or the leader of the free world. Our purpose is to serve others. We serve our family, friends, employer, and society. The key to one’s happiness can be found in this concept as it ties into our basic and genetic needs.

We all serve others but how well do we do so? In business services, one’s success can be measured by how well they serve others. If not properly trained or shown how to serve clients, then not only will the business suffer but so will the employee and his/her clients. This same concept applies to our service to society and each other. If not properly trained or shown how to serve each other and society, people and society meet with failure and unhappiness.

How well do you serve others? Are you more concerned about how others serve you than how you serve others? If so, you may be missing out on the happiness you seek in life. Do you go the extra mile in your service to others or do you merely do your basic job and put in your time? Do you spend quality time with your partner/spouse and children or are you only physically present? Do you offer your best service to others even though they may not offer theirs to you? Does what you do in your service to others bring you closer to each other or drive you further away? You don’t always have to do what you like but you do have to like what you do. How much better would the world be if we treated and served everyone like our dearest friend?