The Golden Rule tells us to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This tenet is foundational to the compassionate service to others.

Service may be as simple as being kind and wishing others well.

It expands when you practice deep listening to yourself; see “Silence and Solitude” within these Spiritual Rituals. Turned outward, deep listening with the intent of alleviating suffering of the other person develops your sense of service to others. Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says, “You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty their heart. Even if he says things that are full of wrong perceptions, you are still capable of continuing to listen with compassion. Because you know that listening like that, you give the person a chance to suffer less … One hour like that can bring transformation and healing.”

Compassionate service to others may also include spending time volunteering for a cause or charity.

If your time or energy resources are overloaded, giving money so others can serve a cause or charity may be your way of service to others.

Practical ways to serve:

  • At least once a day, think of someone you care about and send them thoughts of kindness.
  • At least once a day, sincerely wish someone well.
  • Practice deep listening through silence and solitude with yourself.
  • Practice deep listening with another person.
  • Volunteer at least once a year for a cause or charity you care about.
  • Donate money, no matter how much, to a cause or charity you care about.

Practical Resources on Service: