In your relationship with your children…
Your relationship with your partner…
Even your work or contribution to the world…
In your life, are you serving or are you being a servant?
There is a very distinct difference between the two.
Picture the classical version of a servant; a person in servitude to another, who does their calling or bidding.
There may be little to no boundaries and she has little to no say in the demands made upon her. Her needs aren’t important, or as important, as the person or people she serves.
She is lower than, less than, beneath others. Her servitude is out of obligation: it’s a duty or a chore or a job, something that must be done.
The modern-day servant looks a lot like this:
You give to your loved ones, or even acquaintances, out of duty. You often feel less important than or diminished or blocked by those in your life. You also feel tired, drained, and dull. Your actions breed resentment and anger in your life, and you find yourself playing the victim role of “others don’t care about me”, “I’m taken advantage of”, and even “No one will support me in that.”
Now imagine a host; a person who has invited her most revered and beloved guests into her home.
She is honored by their presence and delights in what they bring to the table, their unique contribution to the conversation. She is generous in what she offers them and does so out of Love.
Because they are her cherished guests, she is kind, patient and considerate of them. She offers them what she has learned they most love and earnestly wants to provide for their needs. She takes in account their individual personalities and preferences to create an experience they will enjoy.
She sees everyone, including her, as exceptional and equal in their own right and this is reflected in both her actions toward them and toward herself. Because of this she feels love, has more energy, and isn’t afraid to ask for what she needs.
Behavior and Intention
The describable actions of the servant and the host might be the same:
- Both may prepare and offer food
- Both may clean and organize
- Both may listen and talk
- Both may support and help
- Both may be in charge of important and delicate matters
But the intentions behind their actions set them apart.
One is being used. One is making a genuine, generous, loving offer.
Both are making a choice.
In your life, in your family, in your work…what choice do you most often make?