Anne Frank was no older than 15 when she wrote: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” Although this phrase is short and seemingly simple, the meaning and truth it carries speak well beyond her years and to the very essence of our morality as humans. And if she can recognize this fundamental fact of morality at such a young age, then we should be able to understand this truth and practice it day-in and day-out through our service to others.
Often times when people think of serving and giving to others, large donations of money and resources immediately come to mind. And while these kinds of donations do indeed make large differences in the lives of others, it is not what service, at its heart, entails. Instead, our obligation to serve others involves sacrificing our time and energy to benefit the lives of others. It’s the idea that those of us who are fortunate enough to be blessed with more talents and resources should give back by selflessly serving others in need.
But, how does serving others make you a more well-rounded person in both your personal and business life? Read on to find out how sacrificing your own talents and resources in service to others can affect your fundamental life skills.
Serving others is a source of personal fulfillment.
Serving others is one of the greatest paradoxes of life because, although the very act of giving requires a personal sacrifice, we end up gaining so much more in return. We’ve all heard about the gift of giving and maybe even experienced the joys that come with giving something to others. It’s a heightened sense of gratification you experience in the other person’s delight that leaves you feeling more fulfilled. And experiencing a greater source of fulfillment naturally motivates you to be more proactive in both your personal and business lives.
Serving others breaks down stereotypes.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions about people we’ve never had a conversation with because we haven’t had the chance to hear their story. When interacting with others and serving people who most likely live a life worlds away from your own, you expose yourself to a variety of different kinds of people, and you hear about real-life problems you would have never imagined. In doing so, you gain a true glimpse of how other people live, and the stereotypes you have spent your life building naturally begin to break down. This new mentality will open your mind to other aspects of your life as well and will benefit you just as you are benefitting someone else.
Serving others puts your problems into perspective.
When we live our lives so trapped inside our own needs and schedules, it becomes second-nature to turn a small setback into a tragic catastrophe. However, when working with and serving people whose problems likely far outweigh your own, it becomes easier to situate your own life into perspective. Learning about the complications of other people’s hardships makes it possible for us to return to our own work and personal life with a refreshed and reassured outlook.
Whether you’re serving at a local soup kitchen or are traveling overseas, the act of serving others will benefit you in all areas of your life. Take the time to give back and become a more successful, well-rounded leader.