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Life Is Self-Service!

Updated on February 2, 2020
Sean Dragon profile image

Sean is a teacher who is writing about his spiritual adventures to help other people find balance and self-respect.

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Remember this: The quantity of the water you get from the ocean is limited only by the container you will use.

— Sean Dragon

Some years ago, parallel to my teaching job, I was working as a cosmetics salesman. You see, I had to supplement the family income somehow. Therefore, I had to travel, often enough, to a large area of the country.

One day I had lunch at a self-service restaurant at the main square of a provincial town. It was a very well organized shop, with a great variety of food to choose from, some of which supported my vegetarian diet.

I arranged my dishes on a tray, I paid, and I sat down at a table near the window wall. I wanted to observe the beautiful square and the passersby. (I always like to 'study' strangers and try to imagine their stories based on their characteristics, styles and expressions. At the same time, I try to send positive energy to them, with my thoughts.) At that moment, besides me, in the store, there was only a group of young people –probably students. Their happy voices were giving a lot of life to the empty shop.

After a while, an old man entered the shop and sat down at a table next to mine. He had a very kind figure. His sun-dug face and his clothes gave me the image of a farmer. So, I assumed that he was a villager who had come to town for some reason. At some point, our eyes met. I smiled at him with a kind greeting. He also responded with a smile. Then I turned back to my lunch and my observation.

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Time was passing, I had almost finished my lunch, but the sympathetic old man had not yet gone to choose his meal. I noticed that he was looking impatiently at the staff behind the food stalls and the cashier. At first, I assumed he was waiting for some people, and he didn't want to start eating without them. But when I saw him waving his hands to the young man at the cashier –who didn't seem to understand the communication signals, by the way– I suspected that something was going wrong. Then I turned to him and asked:

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

He looked at me, quizzically, and said:

"How can you help me, my lad? I am hungry! Did the waiter delay so much to take your order too?"

My suspicions were finally correct! The poor man did not know that he had to serve himself. I smiled, and I asked him to follow me. We went to the food counters, and I explained to him how he could choose the meal he liked, how to put it on his tray, pay and take it on his table. When I was sure that he had understood, I went back to finish my meal.

Don't compromise with deficiency. Live the wealth of your Father!

— Sean Dragon

In a few minutes, he came back wearing a big smile over a full tray. He sat down, looked at me with an expression of gratitude and said:

"God bless you, my lad. If it weren't for you, I would go hungry with all that good food around me!"

We both laughed, and I told him that it was my pleasure to help him.

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After a while, I was ready to leave, so I greeted him, and he reiterated his thanks. As I was walking towards my car, the old man's phrase came again to my mind:

"... I would go hungry with all that good food around me!"

Suddenly I thought that this event was an exceptional parable of life! Think about it for a while. God always prepares the best conditions for our happiness. Still, we wait for everything to come to our "plate" without wanting to pull our own weight. So, because of our ignorance or mental inertia, we lose opportunities and then we blame life for it!

Then I remembered some words of my beloved Master:

"Life is an Ocean. Inexhaustible! Infinite! You can get as much water as you want, there is no limit. The only limitation is the size of the vessel you use for taking water from the Ocean. If you use a small glass, you will get the water that fits in a small glass. If you use a big bucket, you will get much more!"

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That's the way it works! Life is self-service! Ask what you need. Order health, harmony, prosperity, your rightful place in the world. Ask life what you want, but be ready to act. Do what it needs to get what you want. Don't be inactive on the material, and much more on the spiritual level! Act for your happiness.

When you need something, and it doesn't show up in your life, check your attitude. You might be like the old man of this story.

Many times you do not get what you deserve and want because, by your actions or even no-actions, you show not to choose it.

— Sean Dragon

© 2020 Ioannis Arvanitis

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    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my friend, Umesh! I am glad to know my work is helpful.

      Blessings!

      Sean

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      3 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Very interesting narration. The takeaways from this are really thought provoking.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear sister, Nikki! Thank you, because you always find a way to make me feel gratified about my work! I always try finding new ways to serve.

      My love to your spouse and kids!

      Sean

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      3 months ago from London

      What a tremendous memorandum, Sean brother.

      Sacrifice and love both are very much essential these days to live a virtual happy life.

      Blessings to you and Sunny always.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear sister, Dora, your words fill me with joy! Knowing that a person I love and admire uses a piece of my Heart is a source of happiness for me! I am sure you absolutely fit in this story. Thank you for the kindness of your Heart!

      May the Father gives you abundance, always!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Yes, my dear sister, Linda. God's Love has included everything we need to be happy in this beautiful Paradise which has given us to call home. All we have to do is to observe, love and give! It couldn't be simpler! Thank you for your precious feedback and for your kind words!

      Blessings and best wishes for your birthday!

      Sean

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

      I love your title and your very apt illustration. I will take your message with me as I start my day. It is a message for always. Thank you.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      3 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you for taking an old-as-time parable, and breathing new life into it, making it relatable to today. Observe, give, love, repeat. If we all do those three things what I much better world it can be.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Oh, no my brother, Manatita, I am not such a good writer to "create" that old man, but Life, on the other hand, is an excellent story maker! Ha! Ha!

      "Using a larger bucket means untiring self-effort, something which is not available to many." How wise is this! We have to prepare the Self! Thank you for adding the Light of your Heart here! And thank you for your sublime email! You always give me power when the "battery" is running low! Gratitude!

      We are not a dying breed, we are the Future!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear, Doris! Your comments are precious to me! You always have something meaningful to add! I am grateful!

      Life indeed has blessed me with many opportunities to learn and broad my way of thinking! That kind old man is one of them, and I believe that the Law of Attraction has played a significant role in this event!

      Blessings to the Beautiful South!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear, Peggy! I always appreciate your kind comments! Observation is one of the things I have been trying to improve since I discovered that creates chances of serving.

      Love to beautiful Texas!

      Sean

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 months ago from london

      Sweet comparisons and light-heartedness. I'm sure you created that old man. Lol. Good on ya! Serves the purpose well.

      Using a larger bucket means untiring self-effort, something which is not available to many.

      My friend does not have time to write or say hello. She has been busy getting married for a long time. Here in London, I know single moms with four children, working and keeping a decent home and still finding the time to say hello.

      It is all about focus … intensity, as I call it in my poems. The 'cry' is missing and we have 'no time' which in Zen, is probably too much time.

      A lovely and charming piece, full of eternal wisdom and much Light. Hari Om!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 months ago from Beautiful South

      This is a great modern parable, my friend. It kind of plays into the law of attraction, which many people don't understand. I especially liked the fact that the old man reacted with gratitude. When we feel gratitude, more abundance comes our way.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Ha! Ha! I have many hidden talents my brother, Bill! It was some twenty years ago, and I was working as a salesman for a perfume company, selling perfumes in wholesale to perfume stores in some Greek cities. My chemistry background had earned me this work. As you said, Life indeed does take us down some interesting paths! Thank you for all the help you have given me, even if you don't understand how! Gratitude!

      Send some rain to Australia! Lol!

      Sean

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 months ago from london

      Your quotes are immaculate. Guruji has said the second one many times in simple ways, but I will use this lofty piece:

      "On Sri Chinmoy's Path, the soul-fragrance, of the complete Guru obedience, is indispensable." -Sri Chinmoy

      We feel that there is no such thing as a little sin and all acts of disobedience in a seeker - of whichever Path - can create problems. Now let me eat and I will return to read what is usually a lofty or sublime Hub from you.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Are you serious, my brother, Eric? That's my question! "Have I been acting like my brother Eric lately?" I Have missed your readings, my brother! Soon, I hope...

      I play a song of Love on the strings which connect us!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear Pamela, for your kind words! "Open your eyes and observe the beautiful signs of the Father around you! Open your Heart to read them right." Those were the words my Master used to remind me.

      Blessings!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear sister, Chitrangada, for your beautiful comment! I think that summarizes my story excellently! Hard and sincere work is what describes my days, the best way, nowadays!

      Gratitude for the Light of your Heart!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my brother, John! Your presence here means a lot for me, and you know it. I have earned so many beautiful and helpful messages from your work all this time, and I miss reading your poems nowadays. But the day will come... Life is a great Master!

      Love and blessings to you and your beloved ones!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear Li-Jen, Love always comes at the right time! I am glad because I can see that you have received my messages through this true story. I was about your age those days, and I was discovering the "world" too, as you are doing now. I know you have great potentials and an advantage comparing with me back then! You have my Love and prayers supporting you all the time

      Let your Heart shine!

      Sean

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      It is wonderful that you were so observant and therefore able to help that elderly man. What a terrific parable as to how we should all strive to live our lives.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I was stuck for awhile on the fact that you were a cosmetics salesman. I was having a hard time rectifying that with the image I have of you now. lol Life does take us down some interesting paths, does it not?

      Beautiful message my friend. Blessings to you always!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This just made me first ask; "Have I been acting like my brother Sean lately?" And of course the answer was yes and no. There is a special kind of love when helping one who is confused. Of course I mean this both spiritually and in the worldly.

      Perhaps I can fill my bucket to overflowing today. I would like that.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 months ago from Sunny Florida

      We should all strive to observe and live in the way you described. I really enjoyed this article and it is se well-written.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      3 months ago from New Delhi, India

      What an engaging and wonderful story, with such an important message! And, you narrated it so beautifully.

      We can learn so much, from simple situations in life. Yes, we should not expect everything to be served on a platter. Hard and sincere work, definitely brings rewards.

      Thanks for sharing this inspiring article.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This was a great modern parable, Sean. A very good lesson displayed for us all, and the example of the water from the ocean only being limited by the container is so appropriate. Thank you for sharing my brother.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      3 months ago

      Hi Sean, thank you for this story. It's so simple how one act can lead to happiness, like how the customer helped himself to food, that he almost missed out on. Besides that, I also hope I can be observant and sharp like you. Thanks for the inspiration. You came at the right moment when I was having doubts about life.

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