When we say the word “service” sometimes we think about the waitress who brings us our coffee, or the mechanic who fixes our car. A whole other world of “service” points us to the military, missionaries, and nonprofit volunteers who build houses for people who’ve lost them in natural disasters. But there are other jobs that we can point to when we think of “service” like government officials, artists, mothers, athletes and so many more. Any job that has human beings on the receiving side of what they do can be categorized as a service job.
I think of the chef who’s beholden to the taste buds of their restaurant patrons, I think of Beyonce, who has a responsibility to her fans, to keep them entertained, and be relevant. There is an exchange that is expected when someone is paying for a ticket, or a meal, or any other thing. Even when there is not a financial exchange there is still an expectation, because service is at the base of any relationship. At the base of society is relationships. It’s as simple as that, society, our economy, in particular, is about service in various ways.
Giving, the charitable act of unreservedly passing on our gifts to one another is important to notice. The kindness of strangers is uncommon but significant to keeping us all going. Questions like ” are you okay?” when someone falls could be enough to save someone’s life after a stroke. A few coins given to a nonprofit help further work that no one else really wants or cares to do can help society push against its negative side effects.
There is also the connections we make when working together, all our buildings and bridges, cities, armies, and nightclubs were built by swarms of people. No matter how mighty, or brilliant or charismatic, one person can not do any of these things. At best they can only mobilize others with their ideas, or their money, or fear. Co-creating is one way, and the other is realizing that most of what we use in our lives is produced, not found in its raw state. This means that we are all a part of a larger system. We are links in a chain that includes us all and that chain is only held together by each of us doing what we can.
This is why contribution is so important. Our social fabric is held together by collective compromise and input, without it, tears in that fabric cannot heal and we all suffer. So this is what we will explore this month. Not only will we ask you to give via our Kickstarter campaign, but we will investigate the pros and cons of giving and receiving. For as much as selflessness is taught as virtue, there is a case to be made for being self-oriented as well.
I hope we are able to open your heart to generosity, and your mind to tolerance.
Founder, Citizens Of Culture