Turning Down The Volume – Grapevine Article April 2022 by Kiko M.

Not everybody is going to like me or like what I have to offer. What matters is that I like myself enough to continue to take my inventory and be of maximum service.

Recently I had the opportunity to DJ at an AA conference. To prepare, I put in months of work, attempting to absolutely perfect the list of music I would play. I was so nervous and full of fear about whether the people at the event would enjoy my music. My ego wanted my fellow AA members to think I was the best DJ to ever grace an AA dance. Needless to say, God had other plans. 

The very morning after the fairly seamless and fun dance at the conference, I overheard an attendee make a comment about how bad the music was. I was shocked. After I put in months of hard work and musical preparation, how could someone say that my music wasn’t any good? 

As my body shook with rage, I turned to him and snapped, “Well, I was the DJ, you know.” He looked at me and said again, “Yeah? Well, the music was trash.” 

I stomped off, my face flushed and my head swimming with resentment. Who did he think he was? For the next few hours, I spent time stewing with this resentment in my hotel room. 

After a while, I went back to the conference. I ran into a newfound friend, Tim, while preparing for another portion of the conference entertainment and explained to him why I was so angry and hurt. “Isn’t it funny,” he said, “how you had a lot of people dancing last night and all you can focus on is this one guy’s bad opinion?” 

Then it hit me. Not only had I been so ego-driven in hoping to be showered by all with compliments about my playing, but I had also failed to realize that everyone’s entitled to their own opinions. I can’t please everyone. 

Even in sobriety, I’ve always been concerned with what others think of me. I felt that if others approved of me, it would fill the God-sized hole inside me with a sense of pride and self-esteem. How wrong I was. Not only had I never stopped to be grateful that I was asked to provide entertainment for the conference or to thank God for keeping me sober so I could even DJ the dance, but I had also never stopped to consider that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

Not everybody is going to like me or like what I have to offer, even in AA. What matters is that I like myself enough to continue to take my inventory, show up for AA, work with a sponsor on trimming back my defects of character and give it all over to God and be of maximum service to my fellows. 

Shortly after this awakening, I was able to shake hands with the man who made the comment about the music I played. Just days later, I sit here, thankful to God and that man for teaching me another beautiful lesson. I pray I not only strive to live the motto, “To thine own self be true,” but to allow others to do the same.

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