-Michael, Pavillon Alumni

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

This quote appears on the wall right next to a listing of the Twelve Steps directly across from where I regularly sit at one of my very favorite AA Meetings. Even though I have noticed and enjoyed this juxtaposition for several years now, it was only this week that it dawned on me how inseparably they are related. However belatedly, I’ve finally come to realize that one of the principal ends of all the work embedded in the doing and living of the 12 Steps is to embody and become the change we all so wish and need to see in the world. If we “move the needle” on our own, individual lives, the universe–at least in some small way–will by necessity be transformed.

Recently, I’ve been dealing with a painful and difficult situation in my life that is actually not–for once!–of my own making. After wallowing for a while in the “poor me” mindset of the utter unfairness of it all, it finally struck me, once again, that I’d be better served by living in the solution than remaining stuck in the problem.

It always amazes me how, after making just a few, halting, even incomplete moves toward a positive outcome, the world looks better. I feel better. The future seems more open to possibility and a lot less scary. Thank God these Steps work on a great deal more than my chemical addictions and that I don’t have to work them alone.

It turns out that taking responsibility for my viewpoint on the world is one of the Program’s greatest gifts.