Lee Iacocca was a celebrated CEO of Chrysler during the 1980s. Hafez / Hafiz was a 14th century Persian poet.Unconditional service is selfless action taken for the benefit of others, motivated by an unbending commitment to enriching the world with value, meaning and joy. When we give unconditional service, we help others without wanting anything in return.
In contrast, conditional or reciprocal service is encapsulated in the phrase “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. If you do a favour for me, I now owe you a favour. There is a debt, and it must be repaid if relations are to remain cordial.
This is not service. It’s trading favours, a mostly unspoken but sometimes explicit deal, a quid pro quo arrangement.
Coming from the heart, unconditional service is unconditional love made manifest through generative action. It doesn’t make sense to the rational mind, the source of conditional, reciprocal service. But when we provide unconditional service, our faith — “a critical but curious mind’s readiness to adopt a reality model (even if provisionally) for which there is less than absolute, empirical proof” 1 — is vindicated.
Sevā (also transcribed as sewa), in Hinduism and Sikhism, is the concept of selfless service that is performed without any expectation of reward for performing it. Such services can be performed to benefit other human beings or society. Sevā means “service”. A more recent interpretation of the word is “dedication to others”. In Hinduism, it is also known as karma yoga, as described in the Bhagavata Gita.
1. Jay B. Gaskill, The Dialogic Imperative.‘Paying it forward’ may seem a more enlightened approach, but the word paying exposes its underlying transactional nature.
“Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor. The concept is old, but the phrase may have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight: ‘You don’t pay love back; you pay it forward.’”
Source: Wikipedia—Pay it forward.
We die but once, and we die without distinction if we are not willing to die the death of sacrifice. Do you covet honor? You will never get it by serving yourself. Do you covet distinction? You will get it only as the servant of mankind.
Woodrow Wilson, US President from 1913 to 1921 | View a transcript of the address that includes this passage
Tracy Francis One last question. You have worked on products like the iPod and iPhone that completely reinvented a broad set of systems. Are you always reimagining the entire system, challenging its underlying assumptions? Is there a way you think about reimagining whole systems?
Jony Ive I really don’t. I just start with people, and I’m very clear about my place and my contribution. I like this idea that what I do is in service to humanity, to culture, to people. It’s a place I find very comfortable. Our motivation is not only what defines us in terms of our values but also our fuel for what we do. I can’t think of a more profoundly powerful fuel than realizing that what I’m doing is for other people, not for myself.
Jony Ive, former design head of Apple and currently co-founder of LoveFrom, in conversation with McKinsey chief marketing officer Tracy Francis and McKinsey Quarterly editorial director Rick Tetzel | View transcript on McKinsey & Company website
The five senses are five stages or degrees:
Matter, the touching hand:
water, which dissolves: taste;
air, subtle matter: smell;
still subtler vibration transmitted by the ear: hearing;
through the fifth sense, the eye, light radiates: sight;
the sixth sense is the union of the five;
the seventh is the seed of AWARENESS.
When these seven no longer take, but GIVE,
the instant is creative.
This Act creates above as below,
“Thy will be done” above as below!
Your task links above and below.
Your task is the creative human element:
Talking With Angels | Oral text by Hanna Dallos; transcription and commentary by Gitta Mallasz | View entire Light-Awareness dialogue
The real joy of daily work is in what we have to give. We are not fulfilled by what we can seek to please us, but what we can build and offer. It is not fame, or money, or recognition that makes for a thoroughly meaningful life, it is how we put our gifts to use. It is how we give.
“In professional relationships, I find that most people follow the norm of reciprocity: when we do someone a favor, we expect an equal one back. In friendships, the norm shifts from reciprocity to generosity. We focus on what our friends need, not what we can get back from them. Instead of keeping tallies of credits and debts, friends give whenever they can.”
Adam Grant, You’re Not My Friend. Adam Grant is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success
Only from the Divine can you receive.
To all others: give!
You will be given all that you need.
Dialogue with Lily, 24 September 1943
Talking With Angels | Oral text by Hanna Dallos; transcription and commentary by Gitta Mallasz
Being in service is about evoking creative authority in others, and that means you’re in service to the creative process itself.
Bill Isaacs, leadership advisor
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King
Nothing liberates our greatness like the desire to help, the desire to serve.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
Jared Croslow, author and Internet marketer
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