Service is Mutual
As the physician and author Rachel Naomi Remen notes, someone devoted to serving with its connotation of mutuality and equality, as opposed to helping with its connotation of power and superiority, “knows that he or she is being used and has a willingness to be used in the service of something greater, something essentially unknown.” How many of us are willing to be used, are willing to pursue “something essentially unknown” that requires us to confront our own humanity, our own vulnerability? Remen also points out that “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.”
The benefits of service are mutual; engagement among people of all abilities and all experiences evokes the best qualities of everyone involved. In the words of CEO, Tom Everill,
“When I joined the board of Northwest Center seven years ago, I thought I was going to be “helping” people who needed my skill and expertise.” “Little did I know what extraordinary life lessons and experiences were in store for me, I learned that service is mutual and that people who experience the world differently than I do have so much to teach me about my own humanity. I have been humbled and blessed with great frequency during the past seven years by People of All Abilities.”
Download the pdf to read the entire article by Rachel Naomi Remen.