Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
As a sevak (volunteer), you should remember that even if you get stones in return for seva, it’s fine.
If someone scolds you or curses you, you remain unfazed. Don’t make yourself sad or anyone else sad.
Remember this - you need nothing in return for seva - not even a ‘thanks’. Do not say: ‘I have never needed anything else, only a few words of gratitude’ - you shouldn’t expect even that. If you do seva without expecting anything, then that is bliss. If you expect people to praise you or thank you, then the quality of seva goes down.
Seva should walk hand in hand with sadhana (spiritual practices). If one is absent, you will not gain anything from the other. From sadhana you get strength to do seva, and from seva you get depth in sadhana.
But remember that sadhana is your first priority! You should make time to do sadhana, you should be smart in managing time. There is no end to work, there is always work everyday. So make time for sadhana.
Make it a rule - if you don’t do sadhana, you won’t eat the next meal. Promise yourself that you won't eat till you have finished sadhana. Then it becomes a routine. When doing sadhana, say: “Let me do a couple more bhastrika breaths* , a few more minutes of meditation...” If you make your own rules like this, then there is no limit to the strength you will gain.
By working, your energy and strength gets spent. Through sadhana, we can regain the energy and strength.
Another tip for volunteers: you should be emphathetic to people. When we are doing sadhana or seva, we shouldn't be too proud or too angry. If a volunteer is not sweet in his behavior to people and is always angry, then he won't be able to inspire anyone. Our behavior, our actions, our talk, everything should be inspirational.
Another tip: work should be delegated, and delegate work with trust. Many people don't know how to do this. They try to do everything themselves. If you do everything yourself, keep all the keys and try to control everything, then it won't work.
If you want to ride a horse, you can’t hold the bridle too loose or too tight. So also you should shoulder responsibility, but at the same time delegate work. This is an important point for a volunteer.
Remember to do sadhana and meditation while doing seva, and go ahead!