Saturday, September 10, 2011

Little acts of Service

I have a really hard time letting other people serve me. Holding the door open for me, clearing my dishes in the dining hall, etc. The feminist in me sets too much value on her independence to be served.

At the same time, I often want to give people similar services. Offering to sit on the floor so that they can have a chair, etc. And when other people don't accept my service, I don't always handle it with grace. I usually continue to offer, or just do it anyways (like, I ask someone if i can take their dishes, they say, "no, I've got it" and I take them anyways).

Is service really service if one forces people to take it? Or is it fair to serve others and not let them serve me?

I definitely need an attitude check on the little things.


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I definitely have trouble with this one, too! But I've definitely gotten better over time. More than ever before, I now appreciate the gender imbalance in rules of chivalry - there's something to be said for being respected as a woman.

Liz said...

The serious side of this has often swirled around my mind, but in light hearted moments - it amuses me when my friends and I quibble over who holds the door for whom, who gets dropped off at their dorm, leaving the other to walk back alone, so on and so forth. It brings me happiness to see friends wanting to help each other so much that they'll light-heartedly argue about who gets to do the helping.

Lotus said...

I don't know that it's always wanting to help someone, so much as pure stubbornness, that leads to some of the squabbles I have with my friends about who gets to hold the door.

Also, in the past week there have been three different times a guy tried to do something nice for me and I wasn't able to accept it. I have a very hard time letting people 'treat me like a lady'. Last May at New Song (mother's day), the gave carnations to all the women over the age of 18, and I had a very hard time accepting that simple gift. I often view acts of service the same way - I can't look beyond the fact that I don't think I deserve it, when that's kind of the whole point - it's an honoring thing, not something I have to earn or pay back.