Serve: The English term service implies graciousness, helpfulness and to a degree selflessness. To serve is to be humble. Serve stems from the Latin word servitium, which meant the condition of a slave. Service, at its roots, involves one person serving another or several. It is inherently personal.

The term service in the context of American business involves the notion of servitium: to respond to the needs of your customer, to serve that customer personally and individually. But service also anticipates compensation: payment, customer loyalty, growth of the business.

Service is both personal and commercial. They go hand-in-hand. Impersonal service seldom leads to commercial success. Personal service without fair compensation is servitude. And, indeed, some business relationships are so one-sided that the one serving feels more like a slave than a free person.

Personal: Of, relating to, or affecting a particular person; done in person without the intervention of another; carried on between individuals directly; relating to the person or body; relating to an individual or an individual’s character, conduct, motives, or private affairs often in an offensive manner; being rational and self-conscious; of, relating to, or constituting personal property; intended for private use or use by one person. From Latin persona.

Helpful: Of service or assistance, useful.

Selfless: Having no concern for self, unselfish.

Humble: Not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive; reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission; ranking low in a hierarchy or scale. From Latin humilis low, humble, from humus earth.