November 12, 2011

Best-Kept Secret: Program Sets Foundation for Unselfish Thinking

I know, I know, ours is often called a "Selfish Program." Still I see a number of ways I am encouraged to practice Unselfish Thinking in my EA program.

Our Just for Today #5 is especially powerful" "...  I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anyone knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least one thing I don't want to do, and I will perform some small act of love for my neighbor."  This is giving without expectation and it is freeing for both giver and receiver.

Just for today #6, has a similar piece of generous thinking, "....I will try to go out of my way to be kind to someone I meet..."

Step Twelve too, where I give my own story--its struggles, its joys, its hope--- freely to all who will listen. 

For me, it is important that I respond as fully as possible, when someone reaches out to me for a Program phone call, or in response to my sharing here. Yes it is important to "take time"  (Just For Today #8) when someone reaches out for guidance or support during a tough time.  Making time for others is very important to my program, even if "all" I do is empathize with another's emotional state. When I share, I try not to contribute to an emotional soup, but to clarity. 

By reaching out a helping hand, I put into action the Slogan, You are not alone. Or if I share a snip of story from my life with someone privately, I might be demonstrating that This Too Shall Pass. Or convey I (and they) Have a Choice.

I also remind myself of a famous AA saying, which I paraphrase here:  "Be careful how you treat the newcomer, they may just be your next Sponsor."

For, what I give away does indeed come back to me! That is hope and that is also accountability. In my book, generosity is just plain good and healthy practice. (Now here is the Selfish part: I must first have recovery in my emotional bank-account in order to give in a healthy way. )

Are there best kept secrets of generosity that you practice in your own program walk?


  1. I'm a doer, not a thinker...LOL. I try to pay it forward by using my knowledge of addiction to help other addicts. I volunteer at a long term rehab program twice a week. I always put out the message no one is beyond hope...I believe that.

    I read the Encouragement book by John Maxwell and I was disappointed. It was just a sliver of a book with mostly inspirational quotes. No "meat" in it. Just my opinion.

  2. Dear Lou! We are humans who DO, but who must always use our brains to guide the actions.

  3. Lou, but I am sorry that Maxwell disappointed. I admit, I had to work hard to make his Thinking components work for me. I think it was worth it!

    Some of us love quotes, but if a book is only based on them and not concrete examples, then the words are just head-talk and not easily applied!


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~