The following exercises were borrowed from 5 Signs of a Loving Family by Gary Chapman. The idea was to define what a True Attitude of service is and how we can contribute to building better communication and more loving relationships with each other. We defined a True Attitude of service as born out of freedom and choice, not expecting things in return, and as developing from the individual level, to the family, community, society, and the world. Following this brief explanation, we did two simple activities called “I Appreciate That” and “You know what I’d like?”

In the first activity, participants say to one another what they have done for that person while the other then responds, “I appreciate that!” What we didn’t know would aspire is how we all felt a deeper awareness that there are so many more opportunities to serve each other and take on caring for the people around us as well as what is being done for us by others. Really cool.

In, “You know what I’d like?” each person shares something they would like from another in a non-judgmental, non-hostile, safe place kind of way to put their need out there. The other simply responds, “I’ll try to remember that.” In this we unknowingly created a deeper more vulnerable space to allow one another to share what they need or would like to see (with no expectation) and in turn the other can choose whether or not to take the opportunity to respond. 

I personally believe that each of us left feeling way more connected, aware, and energized to serve in our own unique chosen way.

James Jenkins, NOVA