So you’re getting paid to be here?
How about the people making the food?
And the people washing the dishes?
Nope, not them either.
The people serving the meals then?
No, we’re all volunteers.
You mean to tell me that the people who bought the food earlier today, the folks that did all the prepping, all the folks in the kitchen, none of them are getting paid.
That’s right. We’re all here to serve.
After I brought him his food he pointed to the empty chair across his table. He needed to know how all of this could happen. How a group of well-bodied intelligent people could give up their Sundays simply to serve others.
Values and Actions I told him. They are never aligned. We have our values on one end of the spectrum, and our actions on another. Out actions don’t always reflect our values. The opportunity to serve others allows us to move these two in balance.
As we serve others we get to see ourselves more clearly. Especially at the Seva Cafe, by handing out empty envelopes we get to see our own greed and then an opportunity to overcome it. I told him, that’s why I do it. To see myself more clearly.
He wasn’t just surprised by the notion of it all. He was also surprised at the food. Not just that volunteers were willing to give, but that they cared so much that the food was amazing. He looked up, and I sensed it. Not just an understanding of how it worked, but a gratitude of what was being created in that moment.