For the Italian Nuova Bussola Quotidiana media outlet, I am publishing a series of short reflections on economics, virtue and spirituality during Lent entitled Lentenomics (go here for the first reflection on “sacrifice”). In the second of these six essays I turned my attention to the virtue of “service.”
In summary, I write that “service has a supremely essential role within the economy, and not just in the so-called ‘service industries.’ Markets simply cannot function without services. They are the fundamental spokes on which the wheels of any economy turns.”
We realize just how invaluable many ordinary services are now that our economies have come to a grinding halt during the coronavirus pandemic. With closures of “non essential” business services, we understand how “essential” they really are. May we never take them for granted again.
I continue: “Primordially speaking, all forms of service and serving others are tied to the original Latin root: servus (servant or slave).”
“True service, therefore, is never purely transactional or functional….In essence, serving is psychologically and spiritually a question of submitting our egotistic will to that of our Father and Creator and to his creatures in need of our help and love. It has a spiritual value of turning the individual from inward egotism to outward altruism. But to do so, we must often transition from talking to listening; from being overly active in pursuing our interests to being more receptive of other persons interests and needs. Ultimately, we adopt a servant-like mentality.”
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