link to Home Page

icon STO Determination

I'm sure that you've been in situations that have made it clear to you that you are Service-to-Other. I've had them at least. What these events are for me is situations where I don't have time to think and I just move. As an example I was sitting in a bar having a couple drinks with my friends and a guy behind me for some reason wanted to kick the s*$% out of a guy on the other side of our table. When everything shook out I was between the two of them and my friends were across the room out of the way. I've told this story for a couple of reasons. One is that events like this one could be planned to force someone to make a decision without thinking about it. The other is that my friends, although they weren't in the middle of this, aren't necessarily determined to be Service-to-Self. We need to be careful using tests like this. Not sure if this is something that can be used or not, but now it's out there. I think the idea of sharing information on determining orientation is a good one, but like this test there is always room for error.

Offered by John.

I've been thinking a lot about the years ahead and what we may all be called to do, perhaps lead, contribute, teach, or whatever. I think that one of the most important things that leaders may be called upon to do in the future is act as gatekeepers to communities, whatever size. This function is critical and it will be necessary for those in charge to determine if incoming people are Service-to-Self or Service-to-Other. I think this will be an extremely important function, that can make or break a community. I have been thinking a lot about how we can better prepare ourselves to determine these qualities in others, as we may be called upon to do so in a time of crisis, when our judgment may be hindered or hurried. I think it takes common sense, spiritual insight and knowledge all together. We must act in the overall good interest of the community and keeping out all Service-to-Self types will be extremely important.

How can we tell Service-to-Self from Service-to-Other? I’ve been thinking that there are many ways, and that we should start discussing and sharing these now, so that we can enhance the knowledge base of each of us. This is not the final answer, as one's judgment, intuition and spiritual insight must be used, but there are tested and true principles from psychiatry that I think might help here. There are several diagnostic categories that I think people with a Service-to-Self orientation would fall into: Antisocial Personality and Narcissistic Personality disorder. This could be of help in getting a rough idea of what to look for in assessing briefly a person who might come to your community for help. The more tools we have to help in this quick assessment, the better.

Offered by Craig.