Figuring Out My Service to Others
Updated: Oct 29
At the start of the year, I had set out the intention of making 2019 the year “I become a full-time freelance writer”.
This intention was guided by The Goodbye Hello Journal which I purchased, somewhat as a desperate attempt at setting my life course right.
I was skeptical, of course. But I played along.
Fast forward to now, the middle of the year, that intention is actually coming true.
I can’t even….
I’ll talk more about this in another post as this is not the story I want to tell in this post.
If you think about it, freelancing is primarily a selfish act. You want to be your own boss and not be subjected to external rules in terms of how, where and when you work.
But without thinking about how I could serve others, I don’t think I’d have enough leverage to push this agenda forward.
FIRSTLY, WHY THE NEED TO SERVE OTHERS?
I’d say I’m a pretty selfish person.
I never truly cared about anyone or anything growing up. I only cared about myself.
That led me to become very obsessed with myself and whatever interests me at the moment.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But when you only look at the world through your eyes, you’d mostly get a narrow view on life.
You wouldn’t think about the conflict in Palestine nor would you think about the animals suffering in factory farms.
You would only think about what series to binge watch next to satisfy your depressive state. What of the world? I have feelings, too.
But no matter how I tried to satiate my desires, or numb my internal pathetic struggles, I didn’t truly feel the least bit better.
Eventually, I learnt that community is important and helping people would not only elevate them but also satisfy your soul more than watching Downton Abbey back-to-back ever could.
I had to break the wall of importance in front of me and open up myself to others. Once I was ready, it was almost like a flood of information washed over my consciousness and I was immediately aware of so many injustices in the world that I’d want to help make right.
IN WHAT WAY DO I WISH TO SERVE OTHERS?
There are so many issues in this world from humanitarian to environmental.
Which one do I attach myself to?
My irrational response was “ALL OF THEM!”
But soon I realised that I’m but a mortal with a very short attention span. I can only have room in my mind for one or two important things.
So I go with what spoke to me the strongest at the time, which was factory farming and the injustices of animal agriculture. It spoke to me because it was not only the animals that were suffering but also the natural environment and potentially us humans.
One issue, many consequences.
This, however, does not mean I don’t care about the people in Syria or Nigeria.
Like any other, I have to choose my battles. And that’s always better than being on the fence.
EVALUATING YOUR SKILLS & STRENGTHS IS KEY
I’ve blabbed a lot and it’s a miracle that you’re still with me. Thank you.
Now it’s time for you to take action.
You might be at a place where you’re lost and you don’t exactly know what to do with your life.
Or you’re in the midst of figuring out what you can do to help others.
Here are some tips that have helped me on my journey:
Gravitate towards what you like to do.
List down all your skills and strengths.
Determine if your existing skills match that of what you like to do. If not, either improve the required skill or be content with the current skills you have.
Always top up your knowledge – there’s never enough.
Find out what you can practically do to solve an issue.
Remember, this is not a one-off discovery and it may take you a while to come to a conclusion. You may also even change your mind at one point.
But whatever it is, keep thinking about how you can make the situation better rather than wallow in self-pity.