More than one brilliant mentor I know touts the benefits of “serving” over pleasing. I get it! Stop making moves, providing answers and reacting to needs simply to create short term satisfaction. Like biting into a chuck of chocolate, our appetite may be quenched for a few glorious moments, but before long we crash into a sugar high and stop performing at our peak. “Serving” would be the analogy of offering up a more “sensible” answer like a healthy salad or fresh juicy orange.
For me however, “serving” has never been enough. The word stirs about a connotation of “servitude,” of waiters, repairmen and God forbid references to the injustice of minorities all across the globe. “Serving” means the “server” must always be standing by, offering another appetizer, another refill, another option to satisfy an evergrowing appetite. We become accustomed to having these servers around, even complacent at times. We stop becoming independent and learning the tools to make meaningful decisions. We rely on servers to be instantly available, to care for us. And at our worse, we become lazy, bored, even distrustful enough to ask if another may “serve” us faster, cheaper, and with more attention. There’s no growth, no education, no ownership of decision. Serving becomes “tending to” rather than nourishing, nurturing and letting go.
You see, I have no interest in “serving” any product, business, or individual for the rest of my life. Yes, this even means my children. Now hear me out, I love my kids just as much as any other parent in the world, but the most loving gift I can give them are these tools of independent thinking and the will to own up to their choices – to literally thrive on with their lives! To me this isn’t at all “serving.”. This is what mothers and teachers do best. We let go! And letting go means we must stop “serving,” stop providing for, stop assisting. Through our grandest love and greatest care we gently nudge our baby chicks from the nest so they learn to trust in their own wings to soar.
Today, my creation set boundaries, to cultivate rich gardens which will in turn ENrich the lives of others. I do this through my actions, by my words and from my deepest love.