The Conversation: Service with a Smile
find the term “service industry” a relatively popular term for my generation. It’s usually a gateway to having a conversation with pretty much any human. The word service by definition (noun) is the action of doing something for someone. So outside of the default assumption, perhaps being a waiter, waitress or bartender, I’ve come to the conclusion we are all very significant parts of the “service industry” other wise know as planet earth.
In observance of veterans day, I started expanding on what service looks like for me on a daily basis. The fact is we are all in service of something. The label that is attached to our service is simply that, a label. Something we define as what we do. As humans we all give something to someone, as a mother, a father, a wife, a husband, an employee, a teacher, a student, a friend etc.
The power in the word service for me is recognizing any and all acts of service matter. Despite the label or certification or benefits attached to them, they are still acts of giving. Our time on this earth is the only thing we will never get back, and all of us have at one point or another given time in some act of service, to which we deserve recognition. Some days it could simply be a smile to a stranger. It could be at your job, where you perform a life saving surgery. It could be giving a donation, or flying across the world to stand as a representative for freedom.
In my experience of being a bartender there is a direct expectation attached when serving someone. A tip. It took me many years to realize a “tip” isn’t always in the form of dollar dollar bills y’all.
Sometimes it’s the story someone shares with me over their beer, sometimes it’s a coincidence or similarity that brings a smile or laughter to our conversation. It wasn't until I shifted my seeing on my own service that I was able to accept these things as my tips. My lessons. Receiving money for a service isn’t always fulfilling. Does it pay the bills?? Of course but for me, the connections I’ve built are far more valuable then the Tory Burch bag I can carry simply because I had a really good night at work.
For me being able to see service as apart of existing in this world together, for each other despite our labels is apart of being a human. It’s apart of my duty. Knowing that there are men and women who have stood and continue to stand in service selflessly each and everyday for us to be able to share our service with each other deserves far more recognition then just one day a year.
So I invite you for the rest of your week, as you give and receive your “tips” remember it’s an ever revolving way of being, to be in service, not only for you but for each other. I yearn to be wealthy in tips, and not the paper kind. -Christine