This past week we celebrated Veteran’s Day to honor the men and women that serve our country and fight to maintain our freedom. My father served in WWII as a fighter pilot and shared with me, in an interview for my degree, how it changed him as a person. He said that while it was hard, it made him a better person, less focused on his little self. He was proud to serve his country and extremely loyal to it.
Service is part of our encoding. While sometimes we might bury it with other things, at our root we are meant to serve and to discover how to serve more. Serve more? (You might be thinking to yourself) Yes. Serve more.
Let’s start with the thought that we are here to learn to love. And that love for yourself and for others can be as simple as loving and petting your dog or weeding your garden. Learning to love can be loving your team for their great job playing a sport, or simply loving your hobby. It can also be a love, like my father had, a simple love and respect for your fellow human.
This week, see if you can extend your ability to serve love. Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:
1. Simply (and silently) send love to those around you. If you are sitting in traffic, instead of getting frustrated by the back-up, imagine yourself as a beacon of love and waves of it emanating out from you to every person in every car around you.
Sending love really can affect others. Think about it, have you ever seen someone walk into a room, and they’re emanating such joy, warmth and happiness that it’s infectious? This happens most often when that person has had great news, maybe they just got engaged, or just launched their business, but you don’t need a major life event to radiate love. You can do it any time.
2. Hold the door. Sometimes I catch myself scooting through the door instead of reaching back to hold it open for the next person. You’re not that busy, you have time. This week consciously hold the door for anyone (and everyone).
3. Do something simply out of love. It might be an act of love for your partner or a friend. But do it without them knowing about it, or you telling them you did it. Just do it. Cook their favorite food, or pack them a lunch. Write them a love note and hide it in their backpack. Call them just to say hello. And don’t except anything in return. It’s your gift to them.
Simple things have a huge ripple effect. In a world so divided, know that you, and you, and you, are the unifiers. If you work in a team, invite them to serve love this week too. Set it as a goal to do something within the company, or connect with another team you work with.
Spread service and love like your favorite nut butter on everything you do. You’ll be surprised at how delicious your creative genius week will be.