When it comes to service work, there are a few slogans that I attempt to live by in my daily life of ongoing recovery. Here are a few famous slogans that you will hear in many 12-Step meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and in other 12-Step meetings around the world:
“You have to give it away to keep it. You can’t keep what you have unless you are willing to give it away.”
“Suit up, show up, and step up.”
“Don’t expect from others what you don’t expect from yourself.”
“For every finger that is pointing out, there are three fingers pointing back at you, and it’s the only thing we can ever do anything about.”
“Always do your part. Give more than you think that you can afford in your time, your talent, and your treasure.”
More than any other slogan, one I try to incorporate into my daily life comes from my own spiritual beliefs, and that is, “What would Jesus do?” Whether one believes in Jesus as a good story (real or pretend), as a Prophet, or as the Son of God, giving pause to ask the question “What would Jesus do in this situation?” can help us react more positively to our current circumstances.
When I approach life with that premise, and take the time to truly meditate on this before I act or react, I usually come from a selfless place and the words or the act are usually much better than they would have been had I simply relied on my own thoughts, my own words, or my own actions or reactions.
The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W., states directly, “Our 12th Step—carrying the message—is the basic service that fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence.” Bill further goes on to indicate that AA is a society of alcoholics in action. The 12th Step does not only call us to service but it calls us to practice these principles in all of our affairs, which I interpret to mean practicing these principles in every aspect of our lives. For me it applies to relationships (with strangers or family), work environment, social life, faith journey, good times and bad times.