Mashup – The Way We Treat Others Grapevine Article & Dr. Bob’s Farewell

The Way We Treat Others Grapevine Article June 2021 By Howard D.

If I am ever concerned or confused about what to do, I ask myself this question: What is the loving thing to do here?

It took me decades to realize that the goal of recovery is sobriety and unconditional love of others and myself. I learned that a focused action plan based upon unconditional love provides specific behavioral objectives about what to do and what not to do.

My goals for recovery now are to be more unconditionally loving, kind, caring, giving, accepting, compassionate, tolerant, empathic, helpful, generous, patient, humble, honest, selfless, unselfish, other-centered, positive, altruistic and forgiving. I also seek to follow the Golden Rule—to treat others the way that I would really love them to treat me.

In addition, my aim is to be less selfish, self-centered, judgmental, discriminatory, prejudicial, vain, egotistical, arrogant, perfectionistic, resentful, angry, fearful, anxious, hostile, envious, jealous, greedy and dishonest.

In other words, by first changing my behavior toward others, I started to feel better about myself because others began to treat me better. By changing my behavior I changed my feelings for the better. My thinking changed and improved as my feelings changed. The Big Book does not say, “Into Thinking.” It says, “Into Action.”

If I am ever concerned or confused about what to do, I ask myself this question: What is the loving thing to do here?

Our cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob said the foundation of AA is love and service. I’ve learned that service is not just loving and helping people in AA; service is my loving behavior toward all people. The Twelfth Step indicates that I need to follow these principles in all of my affairs, not just some of them.

I also learned that humility is much better than trying to be great, to act great, to have great things and to show that I am great. That only drives people away. People don’t care about any of this; they care about how I treat them. AA has taught me that being loving and humble works much better. Today I have serenity and peace of mind. This is what worked for me, and I hope it may help you too.

Dr. Bob’s Farewell Talk

Dr. Bob and Bill W. were co-founders of A.A.

My good friends in A.A. and of A.A.,

… I get a big thrill out of looking over a vast sea of faces like this with a feeling that possibly some small thing I did a number of years ago played an infinitely small part in making this meeting possible. I also get quite a thrill when I think that we all had the same problem. We all did the same things. We all get the same results in proportion to our zeal and enthusiasm and stick-to-itiveness. If you will pardon the injection of a personal note at this time, let me say that I have been in bed five of the last seven months and my strength hasn’t returned as I would like, so my remarks of necessity will be very brief.

There are two or three things that flashed into my mind on which it would be fitting to lay a little emphasis. One is the simplicity of our program. Let’s not louse it all up with Freudian complexes and things that are interesting to the scientific mind, but have very little to do with our actual A.A. work. Our Twelve Steps, when simmered down to the last, resolve themselves into the words “love” and “service.” We understand what love is, and we understand what service is. So let’s bear those two things in mind.

Let us also remember to guard that erring member the tongue, and if we must use it, let’s use it with kindness and consideration and tolerance.

And one more thing: None of us would be here today if somebody hadn’t taken time to explain things to us, to give us a little pat on the back, to take us to a meeting or two, to do numerous little kind and thoughtful acts in our behalf. So let us never get such a degree of smug complacency that we’re not willing to extend, or attempt to extend, to our less fortunate brothers that help which has been so beneficial to us.

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