Selfless spirit: Choosing to dedicate yourself to helping others

[…] What if you don’t actually need anything? What if you don’t need to have good results at all? What if you don’t need to receive anything? What if you don’t need to even become anything, you don’t need to gain anything, simply needing nothing at all? Imagine if your efforts were entirely dedicated to service to others, helping other people.
[…] If we are looking out for ourselves and working for our own gain, if we see results, then we can enjoy those results, but if we’re not seeing the results that we’re looking for, then there’s really nothing.
There’s no consolation.
There’s nothing positive in it if we work hard for ourselves and then we have nothing to show for it in ourselves.
So that seems like a limitation of that way of thinking, of being focused on ourselves, focused on our own problems, focused on our own situation.
It seems like it can be very powerful to remove ourselves from our own concerns, remove ourselves from this game, this battle, where it’s all about maximizing results for ourselves, where it’s all about working on ourselves, improving ourselves, improving our situation, getting better things, getting a better life, all for ourselves.
Imagine removing yourself from that way of thinking, by simply deciding it to not be important.
Just say “OK, whatever happens, happens.” And instead focus on how to help other people.
I’m not sure exactly how to make this switch.
It’s certainly not easy to simply turn off our own concerns, and maybe not even a wise thing to do.
And we also have to watch out, for the spirit of service can be so easily abused, because helping other people: there are people who will take advantage of people who want to be helpful.
And this is so prevalent that we’re basically even trained out of the spirit of service, because it really is seen as kind of a naive position to be in to be always ready to help.
People seem to learn from an early age how this just leads to us being pulled in all directions.
As we try to be helpful to people, they’re pulling us in one direction or another, energy scattered everywhere, and then most people just decide that they have to shut that off, and they have to focus on themselves or the chosen people that they are working with.
I wonder if it’s something that’s natural for children to have.
This would be an open question: do children have this sense of helpfulness naturally? I mean, in some cases it seems like it, but in other cases, if you look at a baby, the baby wants what it wants.
It does not show great concern for maybe letting its parents get a good night’s rest, or trying to share its food with its neighbours.
So it’s definitely arguable whether this sense of helpfulness is something that we are born with, or whether it’s something that we learn as part of a way of being, where we choose that being helpful to other people is a good thing to do.
I’m not sure exactly where it comes from and what the source of it is.
I would be curious to hear any feedback about what may be the source of this sense of helpfulness.
But there seems to be something very good about it.
Used in the right way, in the right situation, the appropriate self-protections, applied to a good end, we can take the spirit of being helpful and pour out our energy into making things that are of value and doing deeds that are of value to other people, completely forgetting about ourselves.
And somehow, in this process, we become better.
Somehow, it is a healing process to be able to forget about ourselves, to be able to stop grasping for ourselves.
And maybe that’s at the root of how it works, that when we’re thinking about others, when we’re in a giving mode, we are giving in abundance and generosity, giving of ourselves.
Versus when we are focused on achieving results for ourselves, we are in a taking mode, where we are taking what we can.
So there just seems to be something very powerful about this giving and generous mode.
And it seems like the hardest time to get into that state of mind is when we’re feeling down, we’re feeling unsatisfied, feeling like we’re hard done by, we’re missing out, we need more: all the things that would take us away from that giving and selfless mentality.
And yet, for some reason which I don’t know, and I’ll have to further investigate, somehow it just makes things better to live with a spirit of generosity, sharing, and giving.
By forgetting about what we want, at least for a time, and entirely focusing on what we can give, we end up in a better position than if we had focused on ourselves.
So this is a huge topic, and there’s so much more to investigate about this.
What’s behind it? Why does it work? And especially, how can we do this in a way that still protects us, still prevents us from being taken advantage of, and still is a wise way to conduct our lives, and yet still have that spirit of generosity and giving? So for now, I’m going to experiment with this and see what happens.

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