In Syriac culture, any sincere, conscious service performed with passion for the continuity of life and without expecting anything in return is called "rational service". In Syriac, this is called teşmeşto mlilto ܬܫܡܫܬܐ ܡܠܝܼܠܬܐ.
Service that is performed with ulterior expectations, motives, judgement, and complaint is called "irrational service". In Syriac, this is called teşmeşto d-huyobo ܬܫܡܫܬܐ ܕܚܘܝܒܐ.
These two kinds of service exist in all areas of life.
When rational service contains "goodness and love in action", its biggest benefit is that it benefits both the the one who serves and the one who is served. Because rational service has no other basic instinct than love. This rational service is what truly improves and enriches life. However, due to various known reasons, the love and impact of irrational service is more dominant. When behaving with an attitude of irrational service, life unfortunately becomes more selfish, complicated, and blind like a labyrinth. The social climate is muddied by the resulting disturbing perceptions.
From this point of view, we humans are undergoing a process that hasn't been completed, whose development is still ongoing, whose effects are not wholly understood, and the consequences of whose transformation cannot be predicted. This transformation is happening with inconceivable speed. During such processes, a paradigm shift is imperative. I believe that this need must be met with a paradigm shift that prioritizes rational service, appreciates knowledge and moral values which could improve the general perception of life and the private perception of self. In spite of the caprices of pride, acting with a belief in the benefits of rational service will make positive contributions to the desired paradigm shift.
Life inevitably loses its flavor when values lose all value, meaning becomes meaningless and the truth evaporates. In fact, life desiccates. During such delicate processes, I believe that strengthening moral values so as not to condone intellectual despotism and irrational service, contributing to cultural transformation, supporting an appreciative younger generation, as well as spreading positivity and goodness are all great services that would be of benefit to a paradigm shift. Because these actions are important favors that expand the parameters of hope and peace. When a person serves something bigger than himself without self-interest, he becomes satisfied with his life. He gets the feeling that his life is not meaningless. Every good deed done from the heart is reciprocated in kind. Although sometimes we might not see or feel this transformation, love returns to us and fills our lives. Because goodness in action is love.
One of the historically important philosophers Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome (121-180) said, "What else did you expect from helping someone out? Isn’t it enough that you’ve done what your nature demands? You want a salary for it too? As if your eyes expected a reward for seeing, or your feet for walking. That’s what they were made for."
The manifestation of our love as goodness in action depends on whether we illuminate our inner light and properly utilize our gift of existence. If the inner light is not lit, it is not possible to expand the perception of life and self that opens up the way to happiness. Here is how Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), the symbol of passive resistance against evil described happiness: "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
While thinker Epicurus (341-270 b.c.) taught that happiness could be achieved individually, thinker Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) said that the highest value is the "happiness of the many".
Famous writer Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) says, "What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch Or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived."
And here is what the spiritual healers of Syriac culture have to say about rational service: "Even if you have been helpful to a single person, you have gained a treasure that will benefit you personally... If by some chance your service does not pay off, think like a mother. Would a mother neglect her son's treatment if she saw that the doctors were incapable of doing so?"
Existence, meaning life itself becomes meaningful by being helpful and contributing to healing. Because existence is an ability of the consciousness and a matter of comprehension. Despite visible and invisible differences, everyone with whom we share life and the act of existence deserves to exist at least as much as we do. The welfare of every living thing is also our welfare. And their troubles are also our troubles. They are our close companions on the path of life.
From this point of view, not acting in opposition to moral values and spiritual truths is a great advantage. A saying goes, "The reputation of productive people is not in the mouths of others, it’s in their own conscience." Because the important thing in life is to develop an understanding of rational service that prioritizes human dignity and moral consistency. The important thing is serving with a spirit of empathy and completeness, which can sometimes be hard to find. The important thing is taking custody of our values with a sincere sense of guardianship. The important thing is keeping a pure conscience and spirit while bearing good fruit.
In the words of Shams Tabrizi: "Do something. Let it be beautiful. Is that too difficult? Then say something beautiful. Can't get your tongue around it? See something beautiful. Or write something beautiful. Are you unable to do so? Then get started on something beautiful. But make sure that it's beautiful. For anyone is old enough to die. So don't run late."
It has been said, "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
Malfono Yusuf Beğtaş
President of the Syriac Association of Language, Culture and Literature
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