purifying life and building consciously for impact
This post is going to be very different than the other articles I have written on First Followers, in which I have generally focused on impact investing, fund creation, alternative proteins, and impact investment theses.
I want to talk about something that profoundly impacts me personally - Sewa.
Sewa Vs. Volunteering
"Sewa" is a Sanskrit term that translates to "selfless service" or "voluntary service" in English. It is a concept rooted in many Eastern spiritual and philosophical traditions, including Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism. The idea behind sewa is to perform acts of service without any expectation of personal gain or recognition, solely for the betterment of others or the community as a whole.
Sewa is somewhat similar to volunteering. Both sewa and volunteering involve giving one's time and efforts to assist others or contribute to a cause without expecting financial compensation. However, sewa often goes beyond mere assistance; it is rooted in a spiritual or moral obligation to serve others selflessly and is often considered a form of devotion or a way to cultivate humility and compassion.
I have found an extraordinary source of solace, growth, and transformation in the practice of sewa – selfless service. Every week, dedicating 4-6 hours to engage in acts of kindness has not only been a profound journey of impact but has also provided a sanctuary for mindful living and constant healing.
Sewa has the potential to revolutionize our approach to capitalism and societal impact. Through engaging in actions that benefit others without expecting any personal gain, I have experienced it firsthand. The pursuit of profits is harmonized with a genuine commitment to the well-being of individuals and communities. This has led to a tangible positive impact, not only in the lives of those I serve but also in transforming my own perspectives.
Sewa - A Vessel for Growth
The act of sewa has become a vessel for personal growth, gradually guiding me toward conscious living. It has been a mirror that reflects the aspects of ego and vices within, allowing me to confront them humbly. The connection forged with those I serve transcends material boundaries and leads to profound spiritual healing. It's as if every act of service is a balm for the soul, a means to cleanse and rejuvenate my spirit.
As I immerse myself in sewa, I witness how it dismantles the barriers that separate us. It fosters a sense of unity, reminding us of the shared humanity that binds us all. This reminder fuels a genuine desire to contribute positively without any ulterior motives. In these moments, I experience a profound liberation from the confines of my ego and a sense of grounding that stems from the realization that I am part of something much larger than myself.
Sewa - A Way to Heal
In a world that often feels chaotic and disconnected, the practice of sewa offers a precious sanctuary of mindfulness. It beckons us to step away from the noise, to live in the present moment, and to listen to the needs of others truly. In these acts of listening and responding, we find a pathway to healing – both for ourselves and the communities we serve. Sewa teaches us that healing is not only an individual journey but a collective one rooted in compassion, empathy, and action.
Engaging in sewa has been my personal anchor, shielding me from the perils of burnout. The selfless service I offer, week after week, acts as a shield against the draining demands of daily life. Even in moments when burnout creeps in, sewa becomes my sanctuary of healing. Sewa prevents burnout and swiftly restores my equilibrium, nurturing my sense of purpose and well-being.
In essence, Sewa is more than just a weekly commitment; it is a transformative force shaping how I engage with the world. Through its practice, I am reminded of the beauty of simple acts of kindness, the importance of conscious capitalism, and the incredible potential we all have to make a lasting impact. It's a journey of constant healing, an opportunity to shed layers of ego and vice, and an invitation to embrace a life lived mindfully and purposefully.
I welcome you to do Sewa. Do you practice Sewa in your day-to-day work or otherwise? If you have kids, definitely expose them to this concept.
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