About Servitude

My students know that I have an insistence when it comes to serving others.  Every time when there was something to be passed out to the entire class, the group could not touch, nor start on the project until the last person has been served.  The very first time that I did this, students wanted to know why they needed to wait.  I took the opportunity to explain the idea of Servitude.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been taught to respect the elders and be submissive to the wise and experienced.  As a rebellious individual, I too asked the question why I had to wait until the eldest person at the table had been served in order to start eating my food.  My questions were met with scolding and sometimes a stern look from my parents.  It was not until I was older and began to work, I learned that this tradition had a secured footing in our heritage that the people who knew to obey it benefitted greatly from this practice.

I realized that, when one allows servitude to be chief, at least three things happen: 1. the person is recognized as being humble; 2. the person eventually grows patience and sense of calm without feeling displaced; and lastly, 3. the person who is doing the serving does not feel rushed nor belittled, the server can take time to complete the task of serving with the notion that there is a balance and everyone will wait their turn without sense of agitation.

My students now understand the benefits of servitude.  When one of them becomes the “server” who gets to pass out the material, the person feels the calm and does not rush to finish the work, because he knows that everyone will wait for him to pass out the material before the entire class begins on the work.  The class who wait to receive the items also feel relieved and well served, because they understand that no amount of “jumping out of the edge of their seats” will make the process any more rushed or expedited.  Everyone simply awaits in a relaxed fashion while they receive further instruction from me.

In today’s world, the concept of Servitude is slowly being forgotten.  Most of the time we see cut-throat actions to finish fast, finish first.  You may be surprised to know that, in Thailand, if you ask any of the tourism related personnel, they will tell you that the number one thing that a Thai person is most proud of, is Servitude.  They take huge pride of the services that they provide to the tourists.  They go out of their way to make sure that the visitor’s every need is met.  As an avid traveler, I can tell you that not too many countries will put servitude at the top of their list.  That is why Thailand continues to grow in tourism and reaps a whopping $379 million a year (2010) versus England’s $3 million.  If you want a major growth in profit or change of attitude, shift to the mind-set of Servitude. 

I have received many compliments about how my students behave so differently from the other students of the same age group.  I know the major difference is that they have been taught the attitude of service.  They enjoy serving others and know how to be genuinely happy when they do the right thing to make others’ lives easier.  They also understand how to be served and feel at ease that everyone eventually gets their turns.  In the event that they do not get what they need, they know to voice their concerns in an appropriate fashion. 

If you are about to go in to a new job, do consider including Servitude as one of your skills.  In a world where so many people are competing to be rude, the person who understands Servitude will be a breath of fresh air in any position.  After all, we were put on this earth to build relationship, not to consume and dominate only.  If your company is at the edge of a major shift of paradigm, let Servitude be a part of your new Single Plan for Success.  People still crave to be served.  The question is: Will you be the one to provide it?


About 黃雯雯 博士

* 18 years of experience in education. Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership * Included in the Who's Who in Education in 2009 * Winner in Toastmasters International Speech Contest * Appearances throughout the year * Named Best Teacher by Southern California Chinese School Council * Won numerous Table Topics Speech and Evaluator Awards. Vice President of PR with Toastmasters local chapter in Southern California.
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