On this blog there is a page entitled "My Drinking Story" - it is actually simply an assembly of three posts that I put up on this blog around the time of my 6th AA birthday in May 2010. I put it there when I revamped the template etc on the blog a few months ago. Earlier this week someone read it and left an Anonymous comment saying simply "Thank you". How kind of them, I've no idea if they are seeking a solution to their own or someone else's drinking problem, someone struggling in recovery looking for a bit of a boost to get them through a bad day, hour, week, month or whatever. But how kind of them to just let me know that they had read it and were grateful it was there.
Someone else in the blogsphere who is a long term reader of this blog responded to a comment I made on their blog with another act of generosity and kindness.
Both these things are quite little in the grand scheme of things but they really hit me - it is these little things that really matter. The saying thank you, the acknowledgement of someone else and offering what you can in return.
Service is one of the three sides of the AA triangle - the long serving AA "logo". Service, Unity and Recovery - the three pillars that AA exists on. It is at times easy to lapse into thinking that having a service position in a group, intergroup, region etc. is your fastrack route to ticking that box. But service doesn't have to be about simply helping the wheels of AA be lubricated and keep rolling, important though that obviously is. Service can be - helping stack the chairs at the end of a meeting, giving someone a lift to a meeting, speaking at a meeting and then there is the little clause in Step 12... "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs". Note the last 7 words. It isn't good enough for me to be a "good" member of AA around AA only - I need to work at this everywhere. Never easy. Also though it shows me that I can look for some help, guidance and instruction from those in AA those that at times truly do understand the inner most workings of my head but also I should look to those in rest of society who exercise these principles without having to consider them as AA work in progress they do them naturally or through some other inherent driver.
It is easy to be ignorant, resentful, angry, bitter, argumentative, judgemental it is harder to be open, considerate, caring, kind, respectful. To be honest I don't think our society helps much, turn on the tv and you are bombarded with people telling you this is better than that, the news is full of journalists telling us not just what happened but their interpretation of the motives behind it and the consequences of it etc. The Eurozone crises for example - how much is that now at the state that it is simply since reporters have looked for a new doom and gloom story to again make us resent the bankers and the politicians. The reporting of something as a "crises" rather than an "issue" leads to a "panic" not a "solution". Maybe it wouldn't be different (how can you tell?) but as I say may be more acts of kindness and listening without judging would do us all a better service.