Serve/Service/Serviced Contribute/Contribution

Here’s what comes to mind when I think of these terms: hierarchy, and community.

To serve, or being of service, always always always involves one higher and one lower…even if the one serving has more advantages than the one being served; for example, politicians and the government.  How well has that worked, by the way?

In the old paradigm (including the new (c)age movement), it’s all about service (service to the g.o.d. program, service to others, service to self).  Follow the energy flow here…where is it going?

What really, really grates, like fingernails on a chalkboard, is the shift in the business realm from serve to service/d.  How did that happen?  And why?

To serve, in the English language, is a transaction between animate objects.  A waiter, changed to server some time ago (interesting, no?) as a work around to delete the word waitress (the feminine) and thereby gender neutral the position (whew! run on sentence acknowledged), serves me.  Not services me.

To service is a transaction between animate and inanimate objects.  My mechanic services my car.

The only exception I’ve ever heard to this rule is in the realm of prostitution where a prostitute services the john.  Lacking passion, it is, I suppose, a form of mechanical transaction, implying and invoking a soullessness.

So, who does this shift in word choice serve? or service?

Are we more accurately servicing the g.o.d. program, rather than serving it?  And, what does that make us?

Conversely, contribute and contribution feel to me like a joining in.  Just in showing up, we contribute.  Our individual energy is so underestimated in its power to influence.

What, then are we bringing with us?  Clouds or sunshine?  Is this why we tend to hibernate when feeling low?  I know I don’t want to inflict my clouds on anyone.  I don’t want to share my blues.

Contribution feels like the gifts I, and others, bring to the table; to the conversation.  In giving, we receive.  It’s that circular dynamic.

Contribute.  Serve.

How do those feel to you?

If each were a swimming pool, which would you rather dive into?

Or, if you were having a party, which would be more fun to invite in?

I’m curious.



© 2015, Elz. All rights reserved.


  1. I think I’m going to replace my “services” tab on my website to “contributions” – doesn’t that put my offerings in a much better, more accurate perspective. I design, I coach, I offer these coaching plans, I wrote some books, etc. My contributions to the community. It seems so much better than “this sovereign soul is at your service, how may I serve you?” Services make me feel like a hired gun, a mechanic for someone’s project. And at my last job, that was basically the company mantra – “we are blue collar guys that get the job done right” but it was high level design and branding services. The whole “customer is always right” always got on my nerves too, it is such a position of “less than” all around.

    Contribution and sharing – I love how the language is changing as we move into this new paradigm! Kelly mentioned it on her latest interview too. This is great. Thanks for writing about this!

    1. Love the direction you’re taking! It feels more whole-some. I like the “get the job done right” part, but yes, I hear you…doesn’t resonate with your offerings. It occurs to me that a tab named Contributions might lead to some confusing it with asking for donations. Perhaps Offerings, or What I Bring, or…my head is going to whir with other notions, now! haha Within the tab it could be clear what & how you’re contributing :-)! Love that the conversation is aligning with more resonance! So cool, thanks, Jeff!

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