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A Twitter Tribute to Service On This Memorial Day

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I've blogged before on my amazing experience of the social media site, Twitter. Occasionally, someone in my circle of Twitter friends will ask me to reflect briefly on a concept or topic of interest, and I'll do so in a series of tweets, or postings of 140 characters or less. Those who follow my tweets will then often retweet the thoughts, or copy and send them on to their followers, who may in turn forward them on out farther into the Twittersphere, and around the world. Many people also comment as I tweet. Some ask questions. Others make their own statements sparked by mine.

This morning, I was invited to help the people in my Twitter stream appreciate and honor the spirit of this Memorial Day by commenting briefly on the concept of service. Because of the reactions to those efforts just hours ago, I'd like to share here the series of short tweets that resulted. I offer here only my own, with a couple of extra additions in the spirit of the originals. If you want to go to Twitter, you can find many of the additional remarks from others that these first musings sparked. My hope is that some of them will incite your own thoughts about the importance of what we remember on this occasion each year.


Today, we honor a great form of service to the nation. It may help us to reflect a bit on what service is.

The English word, 'service' comes to us ultimately from the Latin 'servus' - the word for slave.

It's ironic that the greatest form of human activity is named after the worst form of the human condition.

But life is shot through with paradox and irony. We often see the best somehow reflect and redeem the worst.

Service is concern and action for others.

Service puts others first. And, ironically, it's in acts of service that we most often feel our best and become our best.

Service lifts us up as we lift others up.

We never freely serve only someone else. True service to another always improves our own souls.

Service without love is a thin reflection of true service that comes from the heart.

But any form of service can begin to mold our souls and expand us, if we allow it.

Business at its best is a form of service.

Family life at its best is a form of service.

Governmental work, at any level, should be a form of service.

Leadership in any context ought to be understood as service.

Patriotism, in the end, is about service: To our families, colleagues, neighbors, nation, and through our nation, to the world.

Take a moment today to remember the service of others, and especially the forms that have involved the ultimate worldly sacrifice.

Whenever you see good service, say something good and give thanks.

Whenever you give good service, feel grateful for the chance.

One of our greatest freedoms is precisely our freedom to serve.

True service always inspires.

Service brings people together.

An act of genuine service taps into a need we each have to meet a need that others have. It can fulfill us uniquely.

In the end, our lives will be evaluated not on how much money, power, fame, or status we attained, but on how well we have served.