Primary Virtue. Service.
An attitude of service makes us constantly aware of the needs and yearnings of others. We instinctively respond to those needs and desires just as we instinctively respond to our own.
Often the most powerful forms of leadership is that of the servant-leader, who rather than promoting self seeks to nurture and empower others, modeling humility along with vision and clarity of purpose. One of the most important questions in life is what and who we serve. This question is at the very heart of our life’s purpose.
Helpfulness means trying to make life a little easier for other people. If we are paying attention, we notice when someone else is struggling –to open a door, to complete a task, or even to go through the dying process with grace and dignity. We move instinctively to ease the struggle – lending ourselves whether for a moment or a lifetime to serve their purpose.
If we look around us, we become aware how much of the substance and beauty people are able to create depends on helping hands. Like generosity, helping is a gift that gives to the giver. Sometimes we receive help in turn from those we assisted; even more often our helpfuness ripples through the world as other people spontaneously pay it forward.
Purposefulness is an awareness of intention that guides our words and actions. When we are purposeful, we use our time and other resources thoughtfully. Since we have limited energy, money and power, we treat these as precious gifts, not to be squandered carelessly but to be spent in ways that bring healing and happiness into the world. We direct our energy toward the things that mean the most to us and those we serve.
Purposefulness is living day to day, even moment to moment, with a sense of choice and intention. It means being continuously conscious of how the present moment relates to our values and goals--and where there are the greatest opportunities to cultivate love, beauty and delight.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation. It is a mindful acknowledgment of all that we have been given. When we focus on the abundance in our lives, we discover a greater capacity for generosity, cheerfulness, and contentment.
Expressing gratitude is a rewarding habit that affirms the grace of the giver. Gratitude opens our hearts, encourages us to savor each gift that comes our way, and magically frees us from jealously guarding our possessions. It lets us celebrate today rather than waiting for the next level of accomplishment or wealth. It is a reminder that one can always find reason to be glad.
Determination is pursuing a goal with energy and focus. It keeps us firmly centered on a chosen purpose. It is the tool we use to keep defeat from becoming permanent.
Sometimes we find ourselves distracted from our central goal by other desires. We get overwhelmed by obstacles, isolation, pain or fatigue. At these times, determination pushes onward and gives us the energy to triumph. By keeping us on a path, determination helps us to make our dreams into realities and to live by our highest values.
Unity is when we come together with other individuals or groups to form something greater than any of us. For many people, the heart of spirituality is a sense of being part of something larger than ourselves, a unity or oneness with our fellow humans and with the vast and intricate Reality in which we have our existence.
Unity is often built around a common purpose – a harmony of interests or values that create a shared identity. When people are united by shared values and goals, they can move together, synchronizing their efforts to attain things that none could attain alone.
Unity is inclusive. It frees us from the divisiveness of prejudice. We see our commonality without devaluing our differences. A sense of unity can transcend our fear of each other. In unity, the joy of one is the joy of all, and the hurt of one is the hurt of all; the honor of one is the honor of all.