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Serving is Different From Helping and Fixing

--by Rachel Naomi Remen (Mar 18, 2013)


In recent years the question how can I help? has become meaningful to many people. But perhaps there is a deeper question we might consider. Perhaps the real question is not how can I help? but how can I serve?
 
Serving is different from helping. Helping is based on inequality; it is not a relationship between equals. When you help you use your own strength to help those of lesser strength. If I'm attentive to what's going on inside of me when I'm helping, I find that I'm always helping someone who's not as strong as I am, who is needier than I am. People feel this inequality. When we help we may inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them; we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity and wholeness. When I help I am very aware of my own strength. But we don't serve with our strength, we serve with ourselves. We draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve, our wounds serve, even our darkness can serve. The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life. The wholeness in you is the same as the wholeness in me. Service is a relationship between equals.
 
Helping incurs debt. When you help someone they owe you one. But serving, like healing, is mutual. There is no debt. I am as served as the person I am serving. When I help I have a feeling of satisfaction. When I serve I have a feeling of gratitude. These are very different things.
 
Serving is also different from fixing. When I fix a person I perceive them as broken, and their brokenness requires me to act. When I fix I do not see the wholeness in the other person or trust the integrity of the life in them. When I serve I see and trust that wholeness. It is what I am responding to and collaborating with.
 
There is distance between ourselves and whatever or whomever we are fixing. Fixing is a form of judgment. All judgment creates distance, a disconnection, an experience of difference. In fixing there is an inequality of expertise that can easily become a moral distance. We cannot serve at a distance. We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected, that which we are willing to touch. This is Mother Teresa's basic message. We serve life not because it is broken but because it is holy.

--Rachel Naomi Remen, adapted from a transcript in the Noetic Sciences Review


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35 Previous Reflections:

 
On Mar 18, 2017 Ariane wrote:

 I understand this text to be about the attitude one brings to an action, not about the action itself. The author doesn't say "Don't help people in need", but "Before assisting/supporting/helping someone, do yourself and the other person a favor and double-check your intention, because receiving help/support from somebody who truly knows their own humanity and the helped person's wholeness is a lot more fun".



On Jul 24, 2016 Subhalaxmi wrote:

 Thank you for sharing.



On Mar 14, 2016 Varinder wrote:

We learn so much about ourselves by sharing a part of ourselves with someone else like this amazing perspectve. Love it!



On Dec 15, 2015 Elizabet wrote:

This is a topic that's close to my heart... Take care! Where are your contact details though?



On Mar 5, 2015 David Nowicki wrote:

 
Wow, what a profound article. Really inspiring Thanks so much



On Aug 8, 2013 Wayne Iba wrote:

 Indeed, we need more reflection on the nature of helpfulness and service such as Rachel Remen's article represents.  While the distinction Rachel makes contributes several important insights, the concepts of helping and service are not as cleanly separated as she seems to suggest.  As another responder suggested, helpfulness may be a more important focus.  By either name -- helping or service -- an act done on behalf of or for another can be expected to be 'helpful'.  Perhaps we can think about both helping and service as actions performed in varying degrees of 'helpfulness'.  We've all experienced someone 'helping' that wasn't helpful.  Likewise, waiters and waitresses who 'serve' us may be either more or less 'helpful'.  The point is that the servant or helper is 'serving' and 'helping' but the quality of the interaction is independent of the roles (and labels) of the participants.



On Jul 10, 2013 David Ryan wrote:

 My preferred word for our highest value is helping or helpfulness.   I think it is a little more action oriented and covers more situations than kindness.  Kindness is usually perceived as a gentleness or soft demeanor which is usually helpful but perhaps not always.  I could be kind to someone but my kind demeanor may not always be helpful.  I can also be helpful and not be kind.   In helping the judge of helpfulness is the recipient of helping, the helpee.  I can't say I am helpful unless the helpee agrees I am helpful.  I can feel love and compassion and not be helpful.  I can display kind behavior and not be helpful.    But I can't be helpful unless the helpee says it is helpful.  The criteria of helping actually makes things more complicated which is more life like.  For example, acts of helpfulness for some must be weighed against potential harm for others.  Short term helpfulness must be weigh  See full.

 My preferred word for our highest value is helping or helpfulness.   I think it is a little more action oriented and covers more situations than kindness.  Kindness is usually perceived as a gentleness or soft demeanor which is usually helpful but perhaps not always.  I could be kind to someone but my kind demeanor may not always be helpful.  I can also be helpful and not be kind.   In helping the judge of helpfulness is the recipient of helping, the helpee.  I can't say I am helpful unless the helpee agrees I am helpful.  I can feel love and compassion and not be helpful.  I can display kind behavior and not be helpful.    But I can't be helpful unless the helpee says it is helpful.  The criteria of helping actually makes things more complicated which is more life like.  For example, acts of helpfulness for some must be weighed against potential harm for others.  Short term helpfulness must be weighed against long term helpfulness.  Helpfulness for humans must be weighed against harm for Earth and its other species.   And if the helpee doesn't have the capacity to judge what is helpful like a child or a dementia patient, how do we find the right expertise that is truly helpful to them and not to just helpful to us.  I don't think that kindness is a broad enough concept to deal with all of those situations.  Love, compassion, and kindness, in my opinion, are all ultimately  judged by the criteria of helpfulness.  That for me makes it our highest value and we should focus on that and supplement it with love, compassion, and kindness. TEHM is The Evolving Helping Movement, pronounced “team,” humanity's assumed highest value. TEHM is already everywhere.  Helping is rooted in attraction.  Attraction was present at the dawn of the universe as hydrogen molecules were attracted to each other and started the fusion process resulting in galaxies of stars.  This 13.7 billion year history of the universe demonstrates the evolving process of attraction and its creations.  Attracting activity appears to be the basic reality of our universe.  This attracting force helped to create our sun and our planet Earth.  All of these evolving, creative forces appear to have helped us and continue to help us unintentionally. Those are the  unintentional actions of TEHM based on the best evidence we have to date.  Somewhere during our evolutionary history our forebears began to practice helping as a way to improve their lives.  Intentional helping was created to complement unintentional helping.  Humans made specific decisions to help one another and that started the intentional actions of TEHM which has created what we call civilization.  Everyone is a helper to some degree.  Helping is a win-win situation.  It helps the helpee, the one who receives the help, but it also provides the greatest experience of life satisfaction for the helper, the one who gives help.  TEHM is beyond anyone’s control and continues to bubble up from the grass roots of humanity.  Every group organized by human beings is for the purpose of helping.  Every job contributes in a narrow way to TEHM.  The most powerful way to strengthen TEHM is to help people identify TEHM that is already present in our midst and in the vast universe of which we are a part.

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1 reply: Wayne | Post Your Reply
On Mar 28, 2013 lfm wrote:

 We are all "10"s!  Not one of us can do what we do without the aid/support/service of our brothers and sisters.  If we say we can, we lie.  And equality does matter (in my mind) to ensure the dignity and respect of every person's contribution/service.  
I can remember walking to school (as early as 1st grade) and noting an adult in our community be, regularly, persecuted by 6 year old peers.  This gentleman worked for the village crew . . . most notably in garbage collection.  He was kind, friendly and took great pride in his work (hanging off the back end of the garbage truck).   I secretly wished this gentleman would stop 'serving' his persecutors.  NOT picking up their garbage would surely demonstrate the value of his gift.
  
We are one body, indivisible with liberty and justice and equality for all.  lfm   



On Mar 28, 2013 David McCuistion wrote:

 I'm afraid I don't agree with Rachel in the article. What I "hear" her saying is that, when at a buffet dinner meeting and I am helping or assisting a friend who is recovering from a stroke and walks with a cane, by carrying his/her food to their table that I am expecting something in return, to which I say -- Not So! I am serving a need. Now if that person tells me they do not need my assistance (and I have had people decline my assistance, once even with a wheelchair bound man), all well and good, at least I provided an opportunity to serve that need. When I correct an employee who is violating a safety policy and could get hurt, am I fixing the person, helping the person or serving a training need to explain the correct safety procedure. I say I am serving a need to make that person a better employee that might prevent their being terminated unreasonably. I get the implication that Rachel doesn't like the word "serve". There are several ways an individual can serve the nee  See full.

 I'm afraid I don't agree with Rachel in the article.

What I "hear" her saying is that, when at a buffet dinner meeting and I am helping or assisting a friend who is recovering from a stroke and walks with a cane, by carrying his/her food to their table that I am expecting something in return, to which I say -- Not So! I am serving a need. Now if that person tells me they do not need my assistance (and I have had people decline my assistance, once even with a wheelchair bound man), all well and good, at least I provided an opportunity to serve that need.

When I correct an employee who is violating a safety policy and could get hurt, am I fixing the person, helping the person or serving a training need to explain the correct safety procedure. I say I am serving a need to make that person a better employee that might prevent their being terminated unreasonably.

I get the implication that Rachel doesn't like the word "serve". There are several ways an individual can serve the needs of others, which turn out to be assisting, mentoring, training, helping, etc.

Maxwell says we should treat everyone like a "10". In that regard service is a relationship among equals. Quite frankly, I feel it has nothing to do with equality, serving others is an obligation as a leader - the magnitude of the service and the outcome is what is important. Servant Leaders don't look for rewards, things in return, or a debt that needs to be repaid.

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On Mar 25, 2013 Austin Correia wrote:

 We need to avoid romanticizing service.  Who wants to be identified as a servant?  We are equal in dignity as human beings.  We may not be equal in competence.  I agree with the author's concern to clarify the negative connotations of the terms 'helping' and 'fixing'.



On Mar 25, 2013 Kunta wrote:

 Sense for serving is usually born with you.  Triggering incidences can evoke the overpowering desire to serve.  When I serve, I do not think about if he/she/organization deserves to be served.  If someone took my services with exploitation in their heart, it is their problem,  my problem was I did not take time to recognize the negative aspect of the serving.  One day, I have to answer to God. 



On Mar 24, 2013 Amy wrote:

 I wrote earlier, that 'Serving Loves'.  True "serving" is of God who IS LOVE.  For love of the body, the heart serves it.  For love of the body, the skin protects it.  For love and service of the body, the digestive tract takes in nourishment and eliminates waste . . .   
Serving loves!  It is NOT out of pity or moral obligation the heart, skin and digestive tract serve the body . . . rather, it is  because God created it FOR that purpose.  We do what we do because God made us for a specific plan and/or for that specific purpose.  Interdependent  we are.  
Listening to God is key.  He counts on us to listen and obey . . . to direct our 'service'/way.  
Personally, I best serve when I am in God/working IN LOVE.  Outside of Love, I can do nothing.
Very much respecting you and this entry.  SO TRUE!  Thank you! 



On Mar 22, 2013 Paul wrote:

  1. Once, when the Buddha was dwelling near Savatthi at Jeta Grove, in Anathapindika’s park, the householder Anathapindika visited him, and after greeting him politely sat down at one side. 2. The Exalted One addressed Anathapindika: “Are alms given in your house, householder?” 3. “Yes, Lord, alms are given by my family, but they only consist of broken rice and sour gruel.” 4. “Householder, whether one gives coarse or choice alms, if one gives them without respect, without thought, not by one’s own hand, gives only leftovers, and without belief in the result of actions, then wherever he is reborn as a result of his having given these alms, his mind will not turn to the enjoyment of fine food and clothing, fine vehicles or the fine objects of the five senses. His children, wife, servants, and labourers will not obey him, and neither listen nor pay attention to him. And why is that so? Because this is the result of actions done with  See full.

 

1. Once, when the Buddha was dwelling near Savatthi at Jeta Grove, in Anathapindika’s park, the householder Anathapindika visited him, and after greeting him politely sat down at one side.

2. The Exalted One addressed Anathapindika: “Are alms given in your house, householder?”

3. “Yes, Lord, alms are given by my family, but they only consist of broken rice and sour gruel.”

4. “Householder, whether one gives coarse or choice alms, if one gives them without respect, without thought, not by one’s own hand, gives only leftovers, and without belief in the result of actions, then wherever he is reborn as a result of his having given these alms, his mind will not turn to the enjoyment of fine food and clothing, fine vehicles or the fine objects of the five senses. His children, wife, servants, and labourers will not obey him, and neither listen nor pay attention to him. And why is that so? Because this is the result of actions done without respect.

5. “But whether one gives coarse or choice alms, if one gives them with respect, thoughtfully, by one’s own hand, gives things that are not leftovers, and with belief in the result of actions, then wherever he is reborn as a result of his having given these alms, his mind will turn to the enjoyment of fine food, clothes and vehicles, and of the finer objects of the five senses. His children, wife, servants, and labourers will obey him, listen and pay attention to him. And why is this? Because this is the result of actions done with respect.

6. “Long ago, householder, there lived a brahman called Velama. He gave very valuable gifts such as these: He gave eighty-four thousand golden bowls filled with silver; he gave eighty-four thousand silver bowls filled with gold; he gave eighty-four thousand copper bowls filled with jewels; he gave eighty-four thousand horses with trappings, banners and nets of gold; he gave eighty-four thousand carriages spread with lion skins, tiger skins and leopard skins, with saffron-coloured blankets, with golden trappings, banners and nets; he gave eighty-four thousand milk-giving cows with fine jute ropes and silver milk pails; he gave eighty-four thousand bejewelled maidens; he gave beds with covers of fleece, white blankets, embroidered coverlets, covered with antelope skins, with awnings, and with crimson cushions at the ends; he gave eighty-four thousand lengths of cloth of the best flax, silk, wool, and cotton. And who could describe all the food both hard and soft kinds, sweets and syrups that he gave? They flowed like rivers.

7. “Perhaps, householder, you think that the brahman Velama who made that very valuable gift was someone else. Do not think that; it was I who was Velama the brahman who made that very valuable gift.

8. “But when those alms were given, householder, there were no recipients worthy of the gift. Although the brahman Velama gave such a valuable gift, if he had fed one person of right view, the fruit of the latter deed would have been greater.

9. “Though he gave that very rich gift, or though he fed a hundred people of right view, the fruit of feeding a Once-returner would have been greater.

10. “Though he gave that very valuable gift, or though he fed a hundred Once-returners, the fruit of feeding one Non-returner would have been greater.

11. “… though he fed a hundred Non-returners, the fruit of feeding one Arahat would have been greater.

12. “… though he fed a hundred Arahats, the fruit of feeding one Non-Teaching Buddha would have been greater.

13. “… though he fed a hundred Non-Teaching Buddhas, the fruit of feeding one Perfect One, a Teaching Buddha, would have been greater.

14. “. . . though he fed one Perfect One, a Teaching Buddha, the fruit of feeding the Order of monks (Sangha) with the Buddha at its head would have been greater. [1]

15. “… though he fed the Order of monks with the Buddha at its head, the fruit of building a monastery for the use of the monks of the Order of the surrounding country would have been greater.

16. “… though he built a monastery for the Order, the fruit of sincerely taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha would have been greater.

17. “… though he sincerely took refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, the fruit of sincerely undertaking to keep the moral precepts, abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxicants causing sloth, would have been greater.

18. “… though he sincerely undertook those precepts, the fruit of developing [concentration on radiating universal] loving kindness [metta] even just to the extent of a whiff of scent, would have been greater.
 

19. “… though he developed loving kindness to the extent of a whiff of scent, the fruit of cultivating the thought of impermanence, even for the moment of a finger snap, would have been greater.”

 the Velama Sutta

I hope you enjoyed :)
Offered in metta - Paul

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On Mar 21, 2013 T wrote:
I feel the following is not outside the subject which is that question of service. If we were willing to see what draws us together rather than what separates us and willing to dig into the reality of our so-called cultural divisions that would greatly facilitate mutual human understanding and thus serve that purpose we all seem to agree has absolutre priority. 

On Mar 20, 2013 rajesh wrote:
 Lets look at it from the receiver's view. If i was the receiver, which would i prefer to say: "Thanks for serving me" or "Thanks for helping me" ?

2 replies: Rev., Rajesh | Post Your Reply
On Mar 19, 2013 dr.bbalnarayana wrote:

 Dear  Rachel Naomi Remen, Here with, I am sending the answer for  Serve, help, fix An article which can distinguish the   Serve, help, fix There we get a pair with a child of two years Always crawling and moving from part to part of house Even trying to keep up, very eager to beat his milestones Only problem is throwing articles, breaking the glasses At times keeping the pieces in the mouth and inviting the problems One day a puppy and a beast of similar sizes both entered The house of family and started playing with the child  All Scourges of parents were of failed to send them out The boy instead of in the band started playing with them out The parents are happy for the group of three, Pig and puppy actively and picking the balls and stones thrown by child In the night when the child’s deep sleep, puppy keeping a watch Thus, the puppy is helping the family as a night guard Pig is playing with the child and thus helping the child’s day pass Child  See full.

 Dear  Rachel Naomi Remen,
Here with, I am sending the answer for  Serve, help, fix
An article which can distinguish the
 
Serve, help, fix
There we get a pair with a child of two years
Always crawling and moving from part to part of house
Even trying to keep up, very eager to beat his milestones
Only problem is throwing articles, breaking the glasses
At times keeping the pieces in the mouth and inviting the problems
One day a puppy and a beast of similar sizes both entered
The house of family and started playing with the child
 All Scourges of parents were of failed to send them out
The boy instead of in the band started playing with them out
The parents are happy for the group of three,
Pig and puppy actively and picking the balls and stones thrown by child
In the night when the child’s deep sleep, puppy keeping a watch
Thus, the puppy is helping the family as a night guard
Pig is playing with the child and thus helping the child’s day pass
Child started to serve both his pets with meals of delicious
Intern for the service of food and shelter both are helping
A day came to fix the birth day of the child, where in two were waging
The three friends enjoyed the game from sunrise to sun set
A help could arise with respect, like to improve the job colleague
Service may require something in return Like a man working in factory
Fixing is an action to fulfill the aim, like fixing the photo to frame

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On Mar 19, 2013 Pauli wrote:

"The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life."  For me, this is the central, unifying theme. The term "serves" is not the focus but the meaning behind it in the context of wholeness is. I would say that the wholeness in us is the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life.  And this is why I believe that when one is true to one's self, in the sense of wholeness, one cannot be untrue to anyone else. We  are at a juncture where we must take care not to fragment this wholeness by over-analyzing and creating politically correct (and incorrect) terminology and attributes that may actually "serve" to make things less whole by undermining the spirit of intention (serving may have negative connotations too). Personally, I do not think in terms of helping or serving others; nor do I distinguish between the two. I guess it is more a matter of semantics because I have come to see that  See full.




"The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life."  For me, this is the central, unifying theme. The term "serves" is not the focus but the meaning behind it in the context of wholeness is. I would say that the wholeness in us is the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life.  And this is why I believe that when one is true to one's self, in the sense of wholeness, one cannot be untrue to anyone else. We  are at a juncture where we must take care not to fragment this wholeness by over-analyzing and creating politically correct (and incorrect) terminology and attributes that may actually "serve" to make things less whole by undermining the spirit of intention (serving may have negative connotations too).

Personally, I do not think in terms of helping or serving others; nor do I distinguish between the two. I guess it is more a matter of semantics because I have come to see that all things we do, and are done for us,  is a part of life's tapestry of oneness to which we all give and from which we all receive. It is true that we must be the change we wish to see in the world. If we want  life to be a beautiful tapestry we must be beautiful and that includes our true intentions, and the things we do and think.  I believe just by  being our true selves we live without separation and thus intuitively are in alignment with right intention and action. Only when we separate ourselves from others and the world at large do we become aware of the "I" doing something for the "you" and vice versa. If I scratch my itching nose, my nose feels better, but the whole disturbance throughout the rest of me created by the itching nose is also better and this spills out beyond because I am not so agitated or distracted by the itching that I can be more positively productive. I do not consider that my nose owes me, not only because it is a part of me, but because I am able to share in the relief (as I shared in the itching).  The point is that if we do things that need to be done and we do them simply because they  need to be done, we can call it anything we like, it is what it is, a way to make the whole tapestry stronger and more beautiful and that is something that is of benefit to all. 

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On Mar 19, 2013 Stephanie wrote:

 I have just been dealing with the issue of helping vs sharing expertise vs fixing.  I agree with the distinctions as described in the article.  But what the article does not deal with the why one would feel that there is a need to help or fix.  In a one on one relationship there are often subtle signals that seem to "request help"  and often these signals increase in number and intensity over time.  It is a 3 sided dance that generally ends badly no matter how good the original intentions are,  The 3 sides are rescuer, victim and persecutor.  In this dance each party plays all of the roles at one time or another.    Dealing from whole understanding and trust in the rightness of the situation and the universe is the goal.  So, how is this accomplished?  It takes both parties to define a relationship.  How do you get to the point of equality with another soul whose circumstances or presentation caught your attent  See full.

 I have just been dealing with the issue of helping vs sharing expertise vs fixing.  I agree with the distinctions as described in the article.  But what the article does not deal with the why one would feel that there is a need to help or fix.  In a one on one relationship there are often subtle signals that seem to "request help"  and often these signals increase in number and intensity over time.  It is a 3 sided dance that generally ends badly no matter how good the original intentions are,  The 3 sides are rescuer, victim and persecutor.  In this dance each party plays all of the roles at one time or another.    Dealing from whole understanding and trust in the rightness of the situation and the universe is the goal.  So, how is this accomplished?  It takes both parties to define a relationship.  How do you get to the point of equality with another soul whose circumstances or presentation caught your attention because they needed something (help) without making them a victim of your rescue or eventually giving them license to label you a persecutor?

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On Mar 19, 2013 Rev. Nagi Mato wrote:
 I like the author's perspective; I grok it. But from reading some of the 'reflections', I feel we all need to understand that it is her opinion (and that is all). If it doesn't't resonate with you, that is cool too. Just as this is my perspective and, after all, your perspective is your reality, right?

On Mar 19, 2013 P. Sasidhar wrote:
I disagree with the author. He was trying to create a difference in serving and helping.
He portrays that helping is inferior as against serving! I feel it is an unnecessary dichotomy.
A teacher who helps the students doesn't bring down the self esteem but in fact he fosters the self esteem.
A parent helps the child to grow up. That is the beauty of the relationship. I wouldn't like to call the role of a parent as serving!
How do we conclude that any two individuals are equal? Equal in what domain? If the author's definition of serving has to be accepted..I am afraid no one can serve other person.
I feel that one can help and serve fellow creature irrespective of one is at zenith or nadir.
Sasidhar

On Mar 18, 2013 Wen wrote:
I've read about being grateful to the recipient, for allowing the giver the opportunity to give. What an enlightening statement that was, we often hear of gratitude for a gift received; and quite rarely gratitude for the opportunity and ability to give - to the recipient.

To give with respect (instead of pity or moral obligation) to the recipient, and genuine gratitude to the recipient. That enables one to receive with dignity.  Be it 'help' or 'serve', it is the intent of the giver, that makes the difference.

I believe it was a Taiwanese Buddhist nun, Master Cheng Yen, who spoke of this mini paradigm shift.

On Mar 18, 2013 Dillan Patel wrote:
 I wrote an email to a mentor today about me wanting to start volunteering at Service Space as I miss its community so much. After reading this I very much agree with you take on how service is different than helping as helping makes it seem as if a inequality exists which thought it may not seem can be a negative thing. I will now make sure when people need anything from me, that I serve them with all my heart and not help! Also, thanks,  for helping me realize that words of the same meaning at the same time can be so different and that when we are by the side of others we are there with a desire to serve and not help :) Reading this was a perfect way to end my night!

On Mar 18, 2013 Amy wrote:

I like how I found  "helpmate" described as a type of chess problem in which both (two) sides cooperate in order to achieve a goal.  Relational examples:  When God created Eve as a helpmate for Adam . . .  When God created my best friend, Mary, to be my childhood helpmate . . . when God gave me my husband . . . when God gave me you!   We were designed equal under God . . . needing each other (helpmates) to most healthfully and successfully reach goals . . . and to live in communion with each other . . . IN FULL CONFIDENCE AND TRUST Jesus IS MY/THE ULTIMATE HELPMATE!  Glory be to THE FATHER. Noteworthy:  God blesses people with well trained tongues and manner that they may be faithful helpmates on earth . . . always side by side . . . always a gift . . . ever present.  It's as simple as that!  (Yup, David is right!)   It's a beautiful day!     See full.

I like how I found  "helpmate" described as a type of chess problem in which both (two) sides cooperate in order to achieve a goal.  Relational examples:  When God created Eve as a helpmate for Adam . . .  When God created my best friend, Mary, to be my childhood helpmate . . . when God gave me my husband . . . when God gave me you!
 
We were designed equal under God . . . needing each other (helpmates) to most healthfully and successfully reach goals . . . and to live in communion with each other . . . IN FULL CONFIDENCE AND TRUST
Jesus IS MY/THE ULTIMATE HELPMATE!  Glory be to THE FATHER.

Noteworthy:  God blesses people with well trained tongues and manner that they may be faithful helpmates on earth . . . always side by side . . . always a gift . . . ever present.  It's as simple as that!  (Yup, David is right!)  

It's a beautiful day!   

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On Mar 16, 2013 Edith Lak wrote:

This is a great piece, true to self and so interesting. The first thing that popped into my mind was ‘Yes’ and the old adage of; ‘If you help someone, it will come back to you three fold’..  But serving is so so very different from helping – massively.  When I was young I was told to be weary of helping others, when I grew, I was told to help others and good will come back, now as I am coming into my own I realise that everything I do has a reaction, be it a good reaction or a bad one but never-the less  a reaction either way, and that stirs reactions within the me-self,  mainly because the word ‘charity’ has to be defined in my actions also, as most of actions and  reactions can be driven from lower self, ego and vanity by wanting self rewards and wanting them quickly, cause the more you help/give the more you get back – right :-)  Wrong… It wasn’t too long a couple of years ago, that I saw a ma  See full.

This is a great piece, true to self and so interesting. The first thing that popped into my mind was ‘Yes’ and the old adage of; ‘If you help someone, it will come back to you three fold’..  But serving is so so very different from helping – massively.  When I was young I was told to be weary of helping others, when I grew, I was told to help others and good will come back, now as I am coming into my own I realise that everything I do has a reaction, be it a good reaction or a bad one but never-the less  a reaction either way, and that stirs reactions within the me-self,  mainly because the word ‘charity’ has to be defined in my actions also, as most of actions and  reactions can be driven from lower self, ego and vanity by wanting self rewards and wanting them quickly, cause the more you help/give the more you get back – right :-)  Wrong… It wasn’t too long a couple of years ago, that I saw a man in a wheel chair go nuts at a person trying t help him cross the street, the man in the wheel chair started yelling at a young man who tried to push him across the road when the lights had changed to red, you could see the young man genuinely want to help the disabled man, but it turned, the disabled man yelled and went nuts at the young man, the young man got angry and kicked the wheel of the chair and huffed off, When the people yelled out are you okay to the disabled man, he said ‘yes’, I appreciate the wanting to help, but he should have stopped and asked me first instead of just thinking it’s okay to help me, I just had my chair fixed and it is different now, I need to push harder on the wheel for turning, but if he would have helped me, I’m sure my fingers would have got caught in the spokes. I looked, I saw and I went ahh, I see. Only if the young man would have stayed around to hear this, he wouldn’t have got upset and would have learned that wheelchairs get serviced too, and, sometimes with problems. I saw what had happened and understood that , but it wasn’t  until I was away from home, in India, and I was giving seva-service, when something in me noticed a smile, and that’s all there was, just a smile, but the smile was of true happiness , I truly noticed the difference between helping and serving, where serving has no reward base to it and it has no repayments attached to it, nothing other than a smile, when serving there is no head chatter and no time attached to it , yes  I noticed I was serving and smiling, where-as before helping  others in different areas of whatever  was a chore with wanting a repayment of  the said dues in life returned, even though I didn’t say that to self, that’s what the internal programmed dialogue was – If I give, or If I’m seen to be giving - I get..  Expectation, our expectations of what we think we deserve back from life, and from others, from what we think we put into it, come from our own wants and needs to be seen as giving.   Awesome Reflective Piece..  xox

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On Mar 16, 2013 david doane wrote:

 I don't agree with the author's distinctions.  Helping isn't necessarily based on inequality.  I can help someone who  is stronger or more knowledgeable than me, is less strong or less knowledgeable than me, and is at the same level as me.  In helping, we don't necessarily diminish the other's self-esteem.  Actually, the challenge is to help in a way that is not diminishing or disrespectful of the other, and that certainly can be done.  Service is an action between equals, and during  the process of serving, I put myself below the person I am serving in the sense that I am of service to that person.  Helping and serving can incur debt, but that isn't necessary.  Helping and serving can be done without anyone owing anyone.  As for fixing, an important thing to keep in mind is that I can't fix anyone without their cooperation.  I don't have the power to fix another.  I can HELP and be of SER  See full.

 I don't agree with the author's distinctions.  Helping isn't necessarily based on inequality.  I can help someone who  is stronger or more knowledgeable than me, is less strong or less knowledgeable than me, and is at the same level as me.  In helping, we don't necessarily diminish the other's self-esteem.  Actually, the challenge is to help in a way that is not diminishing or disrespectful of the other, and that certainly can be done.  Service is an action between equals, and during  the process of serving, I put myself below the person I am serving in the sense that I am of service to that person.  Helping and serving can incur debt, but that isn't necessary.  Helping and serving can be done without anyone owing anyone.  As for fixing, an important thing to keep in mind is that I can't fix anyone without their cooperation.  I don't have the power to fix another.  I can HELP and be of SERVICE to them in their fixing themselves or their healing, but I can't do it to or for them.  Fixing, probably by definition, is in relation to something that is broken, but that's not necessarily a problem.  The problem is thinking I can fix the other or helping to fix in such a way that diminishes the other.  When helping, serving, or helping to fix it is important to respect the wholeness and thus holiness of the other and of life.  When I have that attitude in my helping and serving, both I and the other are satisfied, grateful, and free.  To this point, I think I have only partially accomplished and experienced that. 

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On Mar 15, 2013 Amy wrote:

 This article sheds light on a "void" I feel in my marriage relationship.  I married a man who had been predominantly "served" as a child and young adult.  He is very confident in himself and believes himself "correct" more often than not.  (Worth the mention, five of seven, in his family, share this "self righteous" quality . . . two out of seven, took after their father, with servant hearts.) Since day 1, my husband has been trying to "fix" me.  In doing this, as the article reflects, I am placed in judgment.  "All judgment creates distance, a disconnect and an experience of difference."  SO TRUE!  I feel it! Interestingly, if you were to ask my husband  why he "chose me" . . . he'd say, "because she loves." Service LOVES! "Fixing" (judgment) is of God.              ***Note:  My husband is a good man! &nbs  See full.

 This article sheds light on a "void" I feel in my marriage relationship.  I married a man who had been predominantly "served" as a child and young adult.  He is very confident in himself and believes himself "correct" more often than not.  (Worth the mention, five of seven, in his family, share this "self righteous" quality . . . two out of seven, took after their father, with servant hearts.)
Since day 1, my husband has been trying to "fix" me.  In doing this, as the article reflects, I am placed in judgment.  "All judgment creates distance, a disconnect and an experience of difference."  SO TRUE!  I feel it!

Interestingly, if you were to ask my husband  why he "chose me" . . . he'd say, "because she loves."

Service LOVES!
"Fixing" (judgment) is of God.
            
***Note:  My husband is a good man!  In sharing this, I did NOT intend to "put down" M.  It is simply interesting how this article put into words "what is" for me.  Thank you for allowing me to share and THANK YOU FOR SHARING! 

 I'll keep reading and learning ~  

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On Mar 15, 2013 Conrad P. Pritscher wrote:
 Excellent article.   When Remen reminds me of the oneness of everyone and everything, I tend to serve and have gratitude.  I wish I could think of a personal story where I was mindful of these distinctions.  The fact that I cannot leads me to believe that my everyday experience lacks service, even when I am helpful. The awareness of the distinction between helpfulness and service will help me serve more as well as help me reduce the size of my ego.  I have gratitude for receiving this article, and even more gratitude for being able to respond to it.  As I now think about it, I have gratitude for each of you being who you are.  Thank you for reading this. Warm and kind regards to everyone.

On Mar 15, 2013 Thierry wrote:

'We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected'. This phrase sums it up entirely for me. And yet, why is it we sometimes resist this calling to serve that would make of our life a beautiful offering? Why is it I do not give my life entirely to that which I feel is most holy (that which serves the whole).' It must be that the challenge is very great. 'We serve with ourselves', as we are, the author says. Am I willing to accept my limitations, my darkness, my vulnerability? willing to accept the same in others?' Service is a relationship between equals',says the author, which means can I cease to compare? A psychological revolution! In service, one is no more, no less than the other chap. In administration one gives importance to function, not status. In education one sees that the relationship to the student is rooted in affection, not authority. In charity one serves  without deri  See full.

'We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected'. This phrase sums it up entirely for me. And yet, why is it we sometimes resist this calling to serve that would make of our life a beautiful offering? Why is it I do not give my life entirely to that which I feel is most holy (that which serves the whole).' It must be that the challenge is very great.
'We serve with ourselves', as we are, the author says. Am I willing to accept my limitations, my darkness, my vulnerability? willing to accept the same in others?' Service is a relationship between equals',says the author, which means can I cease to compare? A psychological revolution!
In service, one is no more, no less than the other chap. In administration one gives importance to function, not status. In education one sees that the relationship to the student is rooted in affection, not authority. In charity one serves  without deriving for oneself a sense of holiness.
I don't see any greater challenge. Helping is a fairly natural response that does'nt demand one should be willing to  transform oneself. The same with 'Fixing': the implication on the part of the 'fixer' is somewhat limited as is his perspective. 
 

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On Mar 14, 2013 Manyam wrote:
This strikes a deep chord with me but I can't articulate why. Are the lines clear between helping, fixing and serving others? A very enlightening perspective indeed