Service

What Does 'Service" Mean to me

I was challenged with writing about ‘what does service mean to me’. Then, I got a phone call explaining what they were really looking for, ‘what does service look like to me’.

So, there are two ways I can write about this. What does it look like when I give service, and what does it look like when service is given to me. Let’s see if they meet somewhere.

I’ve attempted to start this a couple of different ways, and then deleted them:
1)      The way I have served has changed over the years. Has it? Maybe, maybe not. Delete.
2)      I’m not a service person. Wait. Is this true? Maybe, maybe not. Delete.
 
For the most part, I don’t consider myself a service person. I don’t like to do dishes, I don’t like to clean, I don’t like to get peoples drinks. If I’m at a family member’s house and the women are in the kitchen cleaning up, I’d rather be in the living room, being part of the conversation.

Unless, I want to please someone and they enjoy service. Then, to me, it becomes a love language. Then, I like to do their dishes or set out their clothes or whatever the case may be. And if I can provide anticipatory service, all the better. My problem with anticipatory service is that I tend to guess wrong as to what the other person would really like, and that makes me not trust my instincts to try again. Or it makes me feel bossy. So, anticipatory service doesn’t happen much.

So, service from me can actually take a different form. If I don’t call because I know someone is busy, that is a form of service. Sending my Monday email, is a form of service. Though, it’s not a service that was asked for, so maybe it’s more of a gift than a service. Huh, most of the things I do are more gifts than forms of service.

Picking up someone’s daughter from school and bringing her home, that’s a form of service from me. Picking up something from the store, putting away chairs at your house. All forms of service, if they are wanted/needed.  

It’s gets confusing for me when I think of the little things I do as ‘service’ that weren’t asked for. So, are they really service?

For example, if we are at an event of power exchange people and someone automatically gets me a drink without me asking, or takes my plate away to the trash. Is that really service? To me, I don’t think it is. I haven’t asked for it. It may not be the type of drink I like, or I may not be done with my plate, or my Master may have told me specific directions about the drink or plate. To me, if someone does these things without asking, it’s more of a service to themselves, so that they feel like they are doing something. But, it’s not service to me. As a matter of fact, if my Master has given me specific directions and someone else comes along and does something out of the blue, it could actually be a dis-service because they are taking away my opportunities for service to my Master.

If I put away chairs after a meeting at someone’s house without asking, did I perform a service? What if they wanted them left out on purpose? Maybe they had another meeting, or had someone else picked out to specifically give that service? Now they have to pull the chairs back out, making more work. Or I’ve taken service away from someone. This doesn’t help make someone’s life easier.

So, is that someone ‘giving’ service? Part of me thinks this needs to be asked for instead of assumed that it’s a wanted service. In this instance, yes, a service, but unwanted.


So, ‘service’ to me involves putting someone else first. Someone else’s needs over my own. If my need is to pick up everyone’s dishes, regardless of whether they want it or not, it’s not really service.  

In the end, what does service mean to me? It means performing tasks (not necessarily chores, it could be as simple as not interrupting someone because I know that action makes them happy) that help make someone else’s life easier, or is just fun and are wanted.
 

Just my thoughts about service and what it means to me. I’m sure others have different responses. 
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