Many people get involved with volunteer efforts out of a strong desire to address a situation that has personal significance to them. However, an individual may be able to set a more effective personal growth plan by eliminating all their attachments to the people and things in the world around them. This is the most effective approach to public service.
The Korean phrase Gong-shim addresses this issue. Literally translated, it means empty mind. However, it has come to be used to refer to a person who has a mind for the public good. By ridding one's self of attachments and connections to the world, a person is able to work toward peaceful ends with no motivation other than to make the world a better place.
It may sound like this approach is backwards. Certainly, in Western cultures, we tend to associate public service with individual passions. People get involved with causes that have touched them personally or that they think they can use to get them somewhere in life. Public service is never a bad thing, but taking this approach can leave a person short of their personal growth goals.
Before embarking on a journey of public service, an individual should work to eliminate all of their connections to the outside world. Through isolation it becomes possible to eliminate all the distractions that could have held a person back. This frees them to pursue their charitable efforts with vigor and honesty.
There are many paths to personal growth, and public service is certainly one of the most effective. However, in order to get the most out of this, people should take the right approach.