From my personal life experience, and while I have surely dealt with a great number of obvious Service-to-Self
individuals, the great majority of people I have ever known or associated with are what I personally consider
every day people, and these considerably outnumber the Service-to-Self group. In looking at others, we must
make great consideration for the social environment in which we live. The last couple decades have often been
labeled as the me generation. I do not believe that this label is generally applicable to individuals and their
personal values; but to the society as a whole, which is influenced by a vast number of parameters. As
individuals we adapt, especially when younger, to the society in which we must function.
The contrast between just another person we pass on the street who lives more or less to the existing societal standards, and the real individual person underneath, shows itself time and again no matter where in the world by this individuals actions in times of disaster. As a 30 year member of RACES (the ultimate backup communications arm of the old Civil Defense and now called FEMA), I have personally been on site of numerous and varied disaster situations, from natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes, to large toxic chemical spills. Of all the people I've encountered in such situations, to include both the official personnel and the victims, I would have to classify from 60 to 80 percent as heroes. People seem to somehow magically change from individuals protected and isolated from each other by individual shells, into something more akin to an organism composed of many specialized cells, all working together toward some higher purpose. I have time and again been absolutely floored by the courage, tenacity, and ability of every day people to almost instantly discard their former identities, isolation, personal loss, and become a part of the solution, showing obvious empathy and providing support and help for one another.
For this reason, I expect that any large group community should assume Service-to-Other until reason is found to decide otherwise. Such accepted psychological criteria, about which you are educated and with which you are familiar, would be of utmost value within any community, whether large or small. I believe that the initial assumption should be Service-to-Other, but acceptance into any community should be probationary. I believe that this should not only apply to new comers but equally to everyone, including individuals indigenous to the location.
Offered by Ron.