Could teaching the importance of service help some troubled youth?

A few weeks back I wrote an article suggesting that self-less service is the only way forward. I’d like to re-iterate this by saying that service to help others is part of the path to merge with God. It is an important part of being a Sikh and although technology has attempted to speed-up our lives, it is up to us to remember it as essential for our spiritual journey.

Last week I attended a funeral of a really dear uncle / close family friend. I will always remember that whenever he greeted you he would smile and have a genuine warmness about him. He had a joy that excelled from his soul. He helped others through voluntary work and we will all have great memories of his pleasant, thoughtful and kind nature. He will be sadly missed.

Robert G Allen, business, finance and motivational author (famous for co-authoring, with Mark Victor the best sellers, ‘The one minute millionaire’ and ‘Cracking the millionaire code’ suggests,’ The future you see is the future you get’. However, when we think about the future do we base it on how rich we will be or do we look at the non-monetary value of helping others?

Stephen R Covey, famous for the classic, ‘Seven habits for highly effected managers’ suggests, ‘I’m convinced that we can write and live our own scripts more than most people will acknowledge. I also know the price that must be paid. It’s a real struggle to do it. It requires visualization and affirmation. It involves living a life of integrity, starting with making and keeping promises, until the whole human personality the senses, the thinking, the feeling, and the intuition are ultimately integrated and harmonized.’

Service is about commitment, both to yourself and to humanity. It is difficult to profess this attitude when a national Sunday newspaper outlines stories of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have yachts’. Articles appear about materialism to fuel the competitiveness of humankind. Sure, a lot of the motivation for earning a living is associated with the simple rules of trying to survive but should it be at the expense of crushing others?

In the world today we still have child labour, inner city decline, people living on the streets and violence is now being cited concerning kids as young as 12 – maybe this is through mis-channeled energy. I recently heard about youths that are terrorizing their housing estates. Any attempt of reasoning with them is returned with a bout of targeting, abuse and attacks. There must be a way of establishing a world where harmonization of living standards can be achieved and where reasoning can prevail.

One approach maybe to instill as part of our education system a new subject called : ‘One world’. This topic could develop links to volunteer organizations. Students could partake in local and national initiatives to help others, learning essential skills such as empathy and good will. Once they have completed managed assignments these life skills could make them a better and more rounded people / individuals.

Potentially an attitude of service could develop from within and people will remember each other not for how big a castle they have built but for the joy of giving they maintained throughout their life.

Categories: 2007, Anti-Poverty, Ethics, Spirtuality

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