The Way of Service

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The Way of Service

By George S. Arundale

Chapter I

— I —

IF you desire to be of service to others with advantage to them and without danger to yourself, see that these three principles guide you in your service:

That your greatest joy is to tread the path of service;
That you know yourself to be but the agent of some force greater than your own which sends the power of service through you;
That you see in others the same divine nature you yourself possess. 

— II —

REMEMBER that everything you can say or think about another has probably already been said or thought by others about you.

— III —

WHEN you yourself are injured in any way, remember that he who injures another suffers more than the person injured.

— IV — 

DO not allow the force of your affection for another to disturb either your balance or his. Your service must strengthen and not weaken.

— V — 

DO not be jealous of another's greater power of service, rather be glad that a greater power exists to help those whom your own weaker force may be unable to reach.

— VI — 

WHEN you give, do not expect the recipient to keep the gift for himself alone. Rejoice when the gift which has given him happiness makes glad another also.

— VII — 

WHEN you are in the act of helping another, try to be for the time the ideal from which you have gained your power to serve. So, shall you attain your ideal and at the same time help more surely.

— VIII — 

DO not look for the fruits of your service, nor feel unhappy when no words of gratitude come from him you help. It is the soul you serve and not the body, and you may always see the gratitude of the soul, though the lips remain silent. 

— IX — 

NEVER look for affection from those you love. If your love for them is true, sooner or later it will enter their hearts and call forth response. If it is but fleeting, better that they should escape the sorrow of someday knowing that your love is gone.

— X — 

REMEMBER that no one can truly serve who has not begun to gain control over himself.

— XI — 

THE best service is that which makes the burden light, not that which takes it away.

— XII — 

YOU will serve people best when you accept them as expressions of their own ideals.

— XIII — 

THROUGH that which is best in him lies each man's best way of service. There are as many ways of service as there are people in the world to be helped.

— XIV — 

THE time for service is every moment of the day for though there may not always be occasion for a kindly action, there is always occasion for a kindly attitude.

— XV — 

THE less a person thinks about himself, the more he is really paying attention to his growth. Each little act of service returns to the doer in the shape of an added power to serve.

— XVI — 

IF a person rejects the way in which you wish to serve him, try to find out another form of service. Your desire is to serve him, not to dictate to him the way in which he must be helped.

— XVII — 

DO not be too shy to offer your help to anyone in need, whether you know him or not. His need makes him your brother, but your shyness is a form of pride which deprives him of a helper in the time of his trouble.

— XVIII — 

DO not say to yourself: "I have given much help to others today." Rather look to see whether you could not have given more and think how little you have really done to lessen all the misery and trouble in the world.

— XIX — 

THOSE who are the best followers of great leaders are the best leaders for those who know less, for no one can command wisely who has not learned to obey.

— XX — 

THE best way of inducing a person to take good advice is to follow it yourself.

— XXI — 

GIVE to others as much credit for good intentions as you would wish bestowed upon yourself.

— XXII — 

NO one is insulted unless he brings himself down within reach of the insult, for an insult is a product of the lower nature and cannot affect the higher.

— XXIII — 

WHEN you think yourself better than others because you are learning to serve, and they apparently are not, in that moment you cease to serve.

— XXIV — 

TRUE service consists in sharing your life with another, and not in pointing yourself out to him — directly or indirectly — as an estimable example.

— XXV — 

IT is better to act first and to speak afterwards than to speak first and to act afterwards, but it is generally best of all to act and then to be silent.

— XXVI — 

A person's capacity to serve well can only be judged by the way in which he leads his ordinary home life, not by the books he has written, nor by the reputation he enjoys, nor by his public speeches or public actions. It is not great public actions which make the great man, but the small daily acts of self-denial which perhaps nobody notices.

— XXVII — 

HE who would serve to the uttermost must be prepared to give up all he has for the sake of the privilege of service.


A person may ask service of you in many ways, but you will serve him best by giving him that which he needs and not that which he may want, even though he may feel annoyance at the form your service takes. But try to put your service in a way which makes it acceptable.

— XXIX — 

IT is no true service to give to another the help which in reality belongs to someone else. Many people wish to serve in any way except the right way, and neglect those they ought to serve for others whom they want to serve.



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