"To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind." -Pearl S. Buck
The seventh, and last, of the covenants of the Visionmaker's Code, is assist others.
While striving to observe the sixth covenant, mind our own business, service to others is a high ethical imperative and is rendered when requested and warranted.
Assisting others, especially those who are vulnerable, threatened, hurt or in need, is compassion in action. An African proverb, that I first heard from Angeles Arrien, provides a guide for such service:
"Take care of the elders,
for they have come a long way.
Take care of the children,
for they have a long way to go.
Take care of those in between,
for they are doing the work."
Helping others on the journey of meaning is the Visionmaker's way of practicing gratitude for the gift of abundance.
Visionmakers understand that we all meet tests and challenges on the path. Some of these tests and challenges, we are perfectly capable of meeting alone.
Other tests and challenges are designed specifically to teach the principles and practices of generosity–the ability to give and receive.
Generosity is the natural response of a heart filled with gratitude. Henry Miller instructs us about the importance of generosity and its relationship to abundance:
"The one desire which grows more and more is to give...Giving and receiving are at bottom one thing, dependent upon whether one lives open or closed. Living openly one becomes a medium, a transmitter; living thus, as a river, one experience life to the full, flows along the current of life, and dies in order to live again in the ocean."
In the days of challenge that lie ahead of us, those that have something to give can assist others through generosity. Those needing help can assist others by being receptive.
Through the flow of giving and receiving, abundance is facilitated. Both the one providing assistance, and the one receiving it, are transformed through the dynamics of generosity of spirit.
© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.