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For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. - Mark 10:45.
And do not forget to do good to one another. - Quran 2:238.
That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. - Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 250.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Mahatma Gandhi
Service to humanity is service to God. - Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 8.How else can our world become united if its citizens don’t try to help each other? How else can the sufferings of the world be reduced? The ordinary people of the world like you and me will ultimately make a difference, and make this earth a better and more peaceful place—if we take one more extra step to help our fellow human beings. The Baha'i teachings encourage all people to extend themselves into the arena of service to others:
A Baha’i who serves others is like unto a candle which burns and sheds light upon all those who circle around it. The highest attainable station of the candle is to burn and brighten the dark room, and the loftiest pinnacle of our progress and perfection is to be confirmed in service… – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 8, p. 61.So let’s revisit this concept of service in each of our lives, and with the help of the brief list below look at the many, many possibilities of service open to us. You can get involved with some kind of service that fulfils your commitment and connects you to the larger community. This may also create more opportunities to meet people and introduce the concept of service to others in the best light possible, through your actions. This list of service opportunities may help you find a service matching your talent or your passion:
- Doing one’s job the best way possible is not only a great service—the Baha'i teachings considered it an act of worship
- Offering others your best self with a kind gesture, a kind word, a kind act. Give random acts of kindness: paying for someone in front of you in line, giving your place in line to someone in a rush, presenting a stranger with a bouquet of flowers, mowing the neighbor’s lawn.
- Visiting and volunteering in senior facilities, group homes and hospitals
- Driving people to appointments, or shopping and cleaning for your neighbors
- Volunteering in women’s centers, treatment facilities, homeless shelters and organizations
- Teaching classes: dance, music, art, sports, literacy, computers and many other subjects
- Calling or visiting those in need—offering your companionship to people
- Teaching house repair, appliance repair or car repair
- Helping refugees and newcomers, volunteering with the Welcome Wagon
- Offering counseling, medical or legal services
- Doing the sets, makeup or costumes for plays
- And simply remembering, in your thoughts and prayers, those who are going through a difficult time in life.