I started writing about the heading above, and then I thought to myself “this is huge.” I struggled with how to begin. It’s been sitting with just about three to four sentences for over a month now on a dusty shelf.
Oh well! let’s dive right into it. Firstly, I would love to share my observation about my generation, “The Millenials ” (1981 – 1995) and of course the Generation Z (1995-2015). To the two generations mentioned, “service” sounds like a forbidden word 😁😁. Drawing insight from my country Nigeria, our National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme is proof of how service doesn’t reflect its true meaning. The NYSC scheme was created as an initiative to foster service to the fatherland for a year. And some amount of money is received from the Federal Government for upkeep because its intent is for you to “serve”. And in serving, you serve from your heart without expecting compensation for your mental strengths and capabilities.
Also in service, you go to lengths and territories beyond where you “expected”. Because, if you are committed to serving either under a person or with an organisation, then you expect that you are designated with some tasks or sent to some locations you do not foresee. This brings me back to the NYSC scheme mentioned above. The scheme also involves deployment to any part of the country as part of the commitment to serving the fatherland. However 😶, some of us opt-in for redeployment to a different location. It will be important to note that there are definitely tangible reasons for redeployment, some of which are: health, marriage, family commitment, and conflict.
Moving past all that. What do we understand service as a word to mean as individuals? The dictionary definition of service is more than one in the Merriam Webster dictionary. But, let’s look at a few of them ”help, use, benefit, disposal for use, contribution to the help of others’ e. t. c .
This is becoming a long perspective, but stay with me, please stay with me, yes? Okay, so let’s link this to my earlier observation. I believe that what irks the aforementioned generations is the idea or use of the word “use”. Picture this reaction ” I serve someone (organization, institution etc) and they just use me? 😳😒😏 😬😠 no payment, little payment, no appreciation of my mental capacity they just cart away my ideas and input, use it to drive their growth and that’s all?”. Well! errr yes in a way maybe it sounds that bad. But really, the government and institutions in our part of the world do not encourage that we cherish service. Hence, I totally understand how the word “service” sometimes irks us.
However, we all have big ideas, big dreams, and big investments. Furthermore, we want to be appreciated, known, and paid for our brave acts, ideations and “services” right?. So, we hear this statement too often “you are serving someone else’s vision, dreams, and ideas”. “You should be running this and this, stop growing their own, start focusing on your own, build your own, why would you be committed to someone else’s stuff ?” e. t. c. This leads to the rat race of all becoming entrepreneurs, we create “our own” products, sell off “our own” products, – reminds me of the selfish human nature 😶.
Let’s take a breather, entrepreneurship is perfect as a concept especially for nation-building, but our motives? Lord God! our motives for entrepreneurship ahh! we need to fix it especially in this part of the world. If it’s not service, with emphasis on help and service as a contribution to another ‘s development. Taking into utmost consideration that service comes with a high level of commitment to delivering your best to others. And ultimately, being selfless and not selfish, then we might need to take a step back and re-evaluate.
Lastly, between me and you, IT’S AN HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE TO SERVE SOMEONE ELSE’S VISON, DREAMS, STRATEGY, BIG IDEA CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT. I know we look at it from the perspective of “well I’m a complete package and a deal why wouldn’t you need my services?” Hello darling, I totally agree with you. I mean you got this so why not and why shouldn’t you be paid a million bucks if not more compared to the paltry sum of 1000 naira – that’s if you are being compensated where you are privileged to serve e. g NYSC, internship, paid employment. And not volunteering or non-profit services. But really my perspective on this is that the fact that someone, a community, an organisation, an institution e. t. c beckons on you, considers your qualification(s), experience or lack of experience, application, and willingness to serve their vision should tell you something: it’s a silent honour bestowed on you. They are saying they trust you with their big thing, they trust that you won’t mess them up or mess it up.
I am a Christian and the bible states in Luke 16 verses 10 to 12 (TPT): “The one who manages the little he has been given with faithfulness and integrity will be promoted and trusted with greater responsibilities. But those who cheat with the little they have been given will not be considered trustworthy to receive more. And if you’ve not been proven faithful with what belongs to another, why should you be given wealth of your own?
Hence, if you have the privilege of serving in whatever little capacity. Kindly consider it as an honour placed on you and your worth. So step on it as the real deal that you are and commit to serving with your heart.
P.S: Viva La Vida