Longevity is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
This is posted in our office here at BambooMoves, Forest Hills. I love the conciseness of it and the message it conveys.
And it makes perfect sense for it to be a mantra (phrase) for our staff, but really any business where excellent customer service is such a key component.
But is this idea only applicable to our work lives?
Oftentimes with those that we love and care about deeply, there is a subconscious expectation of quid pro quo. It’s as if our acts of love and kindness are deposits to be made into our loved ones and we can make withdrawals from them whenever we choose. Is this expectation something that we are consciously aware of in our daily lives? For the vast majority of us, I would say no.
I was confronted with this subconscious expectation one morning while on the phone with a family member. This particular family member had little interest in what I was saying and was very quick to rush me off the phone. I was, to say the least, slightly annoyed with his unwillingness to lend an open ear, when I have done so for him many times in the past.
Ok. I was angry. But as I began to cool down, two thoughts came to my mind. The first, I’d learned from an episode of Thunder Cats, a cartoon show in the 80’s. “Never expect a favor for a favor.” (You see, Mom and Dad? All that television didn’t rot my brain. It was actually beneficial!)
The above sentiment that I’d been exposed to during childhood is merely a rewording of what has become my inner mantra here at BambooMoves:
“Perform your dutiful action without attachment.”
It’s beautiful in that it conveys great truth with the utmost simplicity. And both expressions, even though they’re worded quite differently and have very different origins, lead us to examine what it means to put into practice non-attachment.
But in the attempt to understand our behavior and feelings, we must look to the source. Why is that subconscious expectation in even there? Firstly, there are cultural and societal aspects in play here that can greatly affect individual expectations . Spouses need to be attentive. Children need to listen. Parents need to be supportive and understanding, or do they?
The people in our lives fill various roles and quite frankly, there are no universal “supposed-tos.” There is a phrase often repeated in my son’s daycare: “You get what you get, and don’t get upset.” By all means, practice open and honest communication with loved ones about your thoughts and feelings (and naturally, be prepared to listen to theirs.), but at the end of the day, the only person you have control over is yourself.
The expectation that we are owed certain attentions or reciprocated actions, whether conscious or not, is what leads many of us in modern life to suffering. We invest time and love in our family and friends, not so they reciprocate—although they often do—but because they are our family and friends.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna:
“All actions are performed by the gunas of prakriti. Deluded by identification with the ego, a person thinks, “I am the doer.” But the illumined man or woman understands the domain of the gunas and is not attached. Such people know that the gunas interact with each other: they do not claim to be the doer.
Those who are deluded by the operation of the gunas become attached to the results of their action.”
The gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) are the different tendencies or qualities in side of all of us. Krishna tells Arjuna that the person aware of their own motivations and tendencies liberates themselves from being attached to the outcome.
Krishna also tells Arjuna:
"Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life."
And while the altruistic intent of this statement is fairly obvious, within are also the seeds of personal freedom. To do selfless work, is to remain unattached to desired outcomes of others’ behavior. By serving others selflessly, we can serve ourselves with glorious freedom.
Learn more about BambooMoves Forest Hills here.