One of my sponsees called earlier today for a check in and in our conversation, he was sharing about some of the things he had been doing to get out of himself and into helping others, and shared how he was helpful to someone who was not an alcoholic. He followed that up by quoting A.A.’s Responsibility Statement…
“When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help…” and then said, “It doesn’t have to be an alcoholic.”
I, of course, agreed with him and thought that he was absolutely right – that it doesn’t have to be an alcoholic but was reminded that I was such an undisciplined creature when we first walked into the rooms that clear cut directions like this were put into place to at the very least get me moving in the right direction.
It reminded me of the last paragraph of the 12&12 in Step Seven that says…
“The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from ourselves toward others and toward God. The whole emphasis of Step Seven is on humility. It is really saying to us that we now ought to be willing to try humility in seeking the removal of our other shortcomings just as we did when we admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, and came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. If that degree of humility could enable us to find the grace by which such a deadly obsession could be banished, then there must be hope of the same result respecting any other problem we could possibly have.”
This teaches me that once I learn how to put humility into practical application in my recovery program, I then get to move it out into the world and start using it to become a useful and productive part of society. Whether it’s a newcomer who needs our message of recovery, chairs that need setting up in a meeting, or someone on crutches who may need help crossing the street – it is my responsibility to help when I can in the moment.
How many times have I either thought or said, “Oh, someone else will do it” and then went on about my day thinking only of myself? The conversation with my sponsee reminded me that anyone, anywhere, means exactly that – at home, at my job, in the grocery store, at the bank, on the phone with tech support… reaching out my hand and being the best example of the Big Book whenever I can IS my responsibility today.
In love & service,