Being a leader is being the least of all; an oxymoron yet is absolutely the greatest trait a leader could probably have. He should first and foremost be a servant. Leading is not about being in control rather it’s about selflessly thinking of others’ welfare first. One has to literally put himself in the shoes of the ordinaries. Only then can he realize who he is serving for and what on earth is he doing anyway. Being a servant likewise means being faithful to his mission as he does his best with what he has while maintaining a low profile. It is a calling from the Lord despite one’s unworthiness and incapability. It is a humble way of being able to help and give without any glory nor recognition but just service in its purest and most sincere form. Stripping leadership of all its worldly connotations leads us to its truest meaning, which is service.
My entire Med School experience and the book Servant Leadership was very affirming for me. Growing in the community of Couples for Christ – Youth for Family and Life (CFC YFL), I was taught that to lead other people, you really have to relate with everyone and make sure that they are appreciated. Perhaps, it’s the ‘Jesus way’ of leading and it is Him who is the best example of leadership by example and by servanthood. True enough, when I was a young member, it’s that feeling of being special and appreciated which I longed for; and my leader eventually got me because he never made me felt left out. He made his way to be with me even if he was 19 or 20 years old that time. He moved out of his comfort zones and adjusted his way to my very young age just to make sure I felt welcomed. As early as when I was 12, I already witnessed how servant leadership works. All my leaders at least for the CFC YFL community made me discover the secret the true value of leadership and service – the one which is powerful. My leaders served for their ‘others’ of which I was part of. They made sure that their ‘others’ are well-served and they did a good job. Now, with more than 10 years of being served by servant leaders, am I traversing their examples?
Perhaps, the basic question I should be answering first is who am I living for right now? It’s no doubt for me that all I am and all I have are for the Lord; but in this earthly world right now, who am I actually living for? Who are my others? This brings me to realize the call for me to become a doctor and a missionary someday. My patients some 3 years from now are my others. Those who will be ill physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually are my others. More than the future, all those who I’m meeting in the wards on our weekly clinical exposures this YL7 are already my others. Not yet graduating doesn’t discount me to not serve for those people I’m working hard for right now. My service starts now; and thus I am compelled and driven to work and study harder to become the best that I can be not just for the future but for the ‘now.’
Moving into deeper reflections, more than all those who are sick, it dawned in me that my others really are everyone. My others include my family, my friends, my classmates, my choir mates and even those who I don’t personally know. It’s basically everyone. It’s them why I’m driven to work harder and it’s them who I try to the best of my ability to serve in whatever way I could. From answering the basic medical questions right now like what to give when my friends have flu or fever, to more complicated medical questions where I’m clueless just awkwardly saying to them I’m just a med student and I don’t know the answer, and still to the more serious non-related life issues like sharing the load of my friend’s burdens, these are basically the reasons why the Lord has shared me my time to live in this earthly world. Being a future doctor doesn’t discount me that my others should only be the sick. They are definitely everyone. The question now is how will I serve them as a student, as a future doctor, and perhaps also as a missionary not just in the future but in the ‘now’?
All the past 10 years of being served by a servant leader perhaps calls me to become one in serving my others right now and in the next 10 or 20 years or so. The examples they taught and invested in should not be put to waste and I should pay it forward. Hence, I should continue traversing the example they set and make an example for others to follow as well. Being the least of all and getting all things done to the shoes of the ordinaries are what I’m called to do for my others right now. Not yet fully equipped of the essentials of being a doctor, I humbly share what I can to the most of my abilities. It is true that there is a certain stigma of being called a ‘doctor’ or even just being a ‘future doctor’ which provides a thin line that separates me from the others; but it’s the very essence of being a servant leader which calls for otherwise. And so, I strive my best to be of service to everyone as a servant not just in the future but most especially in the ‘now’. As a future doctor, I won’t be unreachable. I’ll make sure I won’t become one as doctors are there to serve and not to be in the elite. Instead, I would give my best in reaching out to everyone most especially to those in need in the simplest way that I can do.
Driven with vision to be able to serve and heal, I’m certainly motivated with the passion to serve now more than ever with no ifs, no buts but just service in its purest intentions. All these I’m offering to everyone for I’m living for them and most especially to the Lord to whom I live for in gratefulness. When asked once again who I am living for? I boldly say ‘I live for you.’