Monday, June 28, 2010

Serving Others, Serving Yourself

They always say it should be about serving others, not about serving yourself.  Instead of trying to advance your career, you should try to help those in need.

But, you also have to take yourself into account.  If you have phobias of needles and blood, you probably should not serve others as an EMT or nurse.

I read Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer some months ago.  He said something along those lines.  He said that you shouldn't try to do what is most noble, instead, you should listen to hear what your calling is.

I am always asking myself what should I do with my life.  I think in terms of what would be a match for my skills and interests.  I never seem to find the answer.  Sometimes I think it is because I am framing the question wrong, that if my goal was to respond to what others need rather than to find the niche I match, maybe I would do better.  But I'm not looking selfishly for wealth and prestige.  I'm looking for a niche where there's a match between what I have to offer and what is needed, and I'm trying to figure out what I have to offer.

Maybe it's not that I am framing the question wrong.  I don't have to pathologize myself all the time.  It's okay to still be looking.  It's part of the cycle of life.  Sometimes we are at a phase of life that is right for us, and we throw ourselves into it.  Other times, we find ourselves in the wrong place, and keep looking for the right place.  People tell me I should stop looking for something and just be happy with what I have, like there's something wrong with me for looking too much.  But I have had times in my life when I was at the right place and could embrace what I had.  I know what being in the right place is, and where I am now is not it.

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