Anybody Can Serve

How to serve and inspire others just by being yourself.

Posted Jun 19, 2019

Kevin Bokeh Hearts Christmas Tree Lights via photopin (license)
Source: Kevin Bokeh Hearts Christmas Tree Lights via photopin (license)

“Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  ―Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Dr. King said that “anybody can serve," and I believe that he was right. But what does it mean to “serve,” in an everyday context? What does it mean to “serve” when you are not a political leader, a minister or an attorney with a wall of diplomas? What does it mean to “serve” when you are simply a mom, dad, son or daughter? Just an ordinary person, making the best of your life, trying to make a difference? How can you serve and inspire others—and be a role model—when you don’t even “have all the answers,” yourself?

I believe that you can serve in two ways: doing and being.

Doing…things that benefit others. Teaching, mentoring, volunteering, coaching, counseling, healing, caregiving, parenting, fundraising, building houses, advocating for human rights, defending an innocent person in a court of law. 

Sometimes you need to study hard and earn a particular degree (or two, or three) in order to serve others by “doing.”  Other times, you don’t need an official certification—just a blazing passion to help, combined with the grit and determination to get things done.

You can serve others by “doing”—but you can also serve others by “being.”

Being…the best person you can be. Which means loving and respecting yourself, completely. Not in an egocentric way, but from the depths of your soul. This powerful energy radiates from you as you relate to others. You can learn more about how to create a happier, healthier, more loving relationship with yourself — and with others, in my book, The Love Tune-Up

When you are being the best person you can be, you’re serving because you are an example of health, love, and vitality. This can be appealing and uplifting to others. This is you, being a role model. Human beings learn by example, and when you are being your best, you’re offering a positive example for others.

How will you serve, today?

By doing what is right? Doing what is necessary? Perhaps doing just one more thing than is truly necessary—going above and beyond, from a place of deep love? Doing what needs to be done, even if it doesn’t result in money, praise or public recognition?

By being loving? Patient? Kind? Self-reliant? Bold? Brave? Creative? Generous? By letting others see you, being—or becoming—your best?

The funny thing that I’ve noticed is that when you are “being” the best person you can be, then “doing” flows naturally. You don’t have to force it. You almost can’t help it. It’s just who you are. Just you, being you.

So, How will you serve today? What will you do? And if that question feels too “big” or “overwhelming,” then start simpler. Start with your next breath. Your next choice. Start right where you are, and answer this question, instead: Who will you be?

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always contact a qualified health provider before implementing or modifying any personal growth or wellness program or technique, and with any questions about well-being.

Copyright © 2019 Suzanne Gelb, Ph.D. All rights reserved