The Initiatory Way of Service
The Initiatory Way of Service is the outcome of research conducted on the lives of various Peacemakers in order to establish what they shared in terms of their ideas and their actions to serve humanity, despite coming from different countries and diverse social and economic backgrounds, faiths, cultures, and religions. This teaching describes the six essential stages in the making of a Servant of Humanity.
1. To Be Conscious of Others
The first requirement of a Servant of Humanity is to be conscious of others and wish for others what he wishes for himself. This is only possible once a person has transcended the bounds of individualism and blood family ties to join the global human family. For this, a Servant of Humanity must be free to make the choice of service and love in complete awareness.
He will have gone through a self-transformation process which has enabled him to emerge from conditioned thought, behaviour patterns and relationships – this in essence, is the Liberation Therapy, as taught by Sheikh Aly N’Daw. At this stage, he is now free to commit himself to an ideal of love and service in complete awareness, and his action is an expression of unconditional Love and compassion for the whole of humanity, irrespective of differences. And so, he benefits humanity at large.
2. Respect for Others
All servants of humanity show the highest level of respect for others, irrespective of any differences. In fact, they respect all forms of life: plants, animals, as well as humans, for they are conscious that all forms of life in the universe are interconnected and interdependent.
Having themselves transcended the bounds of their biological family and now being aware of the global family, they constantly strive towards the welfare of one and all, devoting all their energy, thought, time, effort and resources to their ideal of service.
The Servants of Humanity respect everybody for his intrinsic value as they know that everybody can be instrumental in the building of the global community and a better world for everyone. They are also conscious that difference is a necessity of life and hence respect everybody beyond all forms of differences such as religion, faith, culture, and social, ethnic or economic background. To them all that matters is the human being as an expression of Divine Love.
Servants of Humanity are at all times conscious of others. This awareness is based on love and compassion for others and enables us to work towards improving the lives of the most destitute and socially excluded. Such was the awareness of eminent figures such as Mother Teresa and Sister Emmanuelle, among many others.
Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba teaches us that there is only one form of relationship – our relationship with God. We only have duties towards the Creator. Hence, awareness of the Divine is attained through establishing relationships with others on the basis of our duties towards them.
The Servant of Humanity whose action is based on the example of the Prophets does not claim anything, but gives without expecting anything in return. He considers it as a duty, for he is conscious of others. It is only with this awareness that it becomes possible to work towards a global vision for the welfare of humanity based on the concept of solidarity and sharing.
4. Human Capital
A Servant of Humanity, as an embodiment of unconditional Love and compassion, strives tirelessly with his heart and soul to awaken awareness among the destitute of their human capital. In building a society with the human being at its very centre, the only capital that matters, is human capital. The best capital is the individual, and an individual’s mission is to give himself.
In this context, the Servant of Humanity works ceaselessly to create the conditions and social framework necessary to enable the less fortunate to engage their human capital in positive action and work towards rediscovering human dignity irrespective of difference.
Recognising God’s unconditional Love for His Creation and being conscious of their role as God’s lieutenant on Earth, Servants of Humanity put this relationship into practice by imitating the perfect examples set by the Messengers of God for the welfare of mankind. As Khalil Gibran says in his book The Prophet, “Work is love rendered visible.”
These awakened individuals – embodiments of Love and service – give their hearts, souls and spirits to service. They give themselves by investing their entire being, believing that they are the best resource for action. This is illustrated by the examples of Sister Emmanuelle, Mother Teresa and Ammafrom India. We also have the examples of Coluche, Yannick Noahand Georges Weahin Liberia, and the young Albeiro Vargas in Latin America.
Patience is a virtue that we must embody if we wish to tread the path of service and an ideal like this can only be realised after numerous trials and tribulations. However, on the path of Love these are not difficulties; rather they are essential to strengthening our belief and commitment to our ideal of service.
Indeed, this is the transformation process that deepens our conviction and strengthens our commitment to service to humanity. Thus, as we tread the path of Love and service, it is a necessity to develop these qualities, such as humility, endurance, perseverance and patience.
6. Team Work
A global vision for the welfare of humanity can only be realised through team effort and a network of solidarity and sharing. Eminent servants of humanity such as Mother Teresa, Sister Emmanuelle, Wangari Maathai, Jody Williams and many others have all created a network to implement their ideas.