LifeLine Newsletter

2019 December LifeLine

3 Things in Life that Never comes back when gone Time, Words, Opportunity
3 Things in Life that should Never be Lost Peace, Hope, Honesty
3 Things in Life That are most Valuable Love, Faith, Prayer
3 Things that makes a Person Hard work, Sincerity, Commitment
3 Things that can Destroy a Person Lust, Pride, Anger
3 Things That are Constant
Change, Death, God


How Honest, Open-Minded, and Willing are you when it comes to Service?

There are very few members of Narcotics Anonymous who don’t have some opinion about what’s good or bad about anything related to service. Many of those opinions have validity; many more are the result of bitter experiences and may be tainted by emotion.

We tried, close to a decade ago, to introduce a new service system which was roundly rejected. Pity, because it had many creative and meritorious features that could revitalize and invigorate our existing Areas, Regions or Sub-Committees.

We lack imagination, boldness, and faith when it comes to providing service, improving service, carrying the message.

We have “fundamentalists” doing service who believe we must follow the policy to the T and if it’s not in the policy, we can’t do it. Untrue. When something isn’t in the policy, it means it CAN be done, it CAN be discussed, entertained. They believe we should do something a certain way because, “that’s the way we’ve always done it” (this answer is never true). Fundamentalists are rigid and closed-minded when it comes to change, decision-making, out-of-the-box thinking.

The system needs a real spring-cleaning. We are all so entrenched in some manifestation of our defects, whether it’s fundamentalism, anarchy, ego, power, agendas, or resentments.

The system needs a real spring-cleaning. We are all so entrenched in some manifestation of our defects, whether it’s fundamentalism, anarchy, ego, power, agendas, or resentments.

We have anarchists doing service who believe everyone should just do whatever they want regardless of principles, policy, or procedure. We should ignore policy when it suits us; we should forgive some people some things and other people nothing. Anarchists are inconsistent, impractical, and unpredictable when it comes to change, decision-making, out-of-the-box thinking.

It’s not that we shouldn’t serve if you are entrenched in something; it’s that we must be aware of our defects and willing to work on them with our sponsors and in our step work so they don’t prevent us from doing the only thing that matters when it come to service: carrying the message to the addict who still suffers.

We seem to think we do not need to apply to our service work the same actions we apply to the other areas of our lives – our families, our relationships, our jobs, our finances.

I know people serving who don’t have sponsors or they have sponsors in name only, who haven’t done step work in years or even decades or EVER. Many of them are “resume-builders”, wanting to impress the folks at the next level of service with all the “work” they’ve done.

It would be nice if everyone in NA had sponsors and did step work. You’re free to ignore both of those suggestions but please, if you’re gonna blow off sponsors and step work, don’t do service. Don’t punish your fellow trusted servants by imposing your disease and insanity on them in a service capacity. It’s perverse and discourages others from doing service. Why would you do that? Oh, wait. You probably have a really big ego that constantly needs stroking.
When was the last time your Area or Region took its inventory? NA has a piece of literature called Planning Basics. It has a very comprehensive list of tasks that any service entity can accomplish to examine itself and arrive at a conscience as to how to improve the way it is providing services to its members and to the community at large, in our mission to carry our message far and wide – our life-saving message based on complete abstinence, the application of spiritual principles, and the freedom that comes from this new way of life.


If we are unwilling to set aside personalities (our own and others’), the past (our own and others’), our expectations, agendas, judgments, and opinions, if we are unwilling to familiarize ourselves with our policies and Traditions, if we are unwilling to do the work of service (taking notes, being cooperative, helpful, polite), if we are unwilling to try new ideas, go above and beyond, take it seriously – as if someone’s life may depend on how we serve – we shouldn’t submit a resume and take the commitment. We should also think twice about re-electing anyone who exhibits all the characteristics of the unwilling trusted servant.

If you want to do service that is appointed or elected, don’t take it lightly. Don’t blow it off at the last minute. Don’t be blasé about it, as if it’s irrelevant. It’s not. You made a promise. People elected you because they believed you would keep your promise. Stop acting as if that doesn’t mean anything. Stop acting as if it’s ok to do it half-assed, like you’re doing us a favor by showing up.

Your motives don’t have to be “pure”. Nobody’s motives are pure. Most of our motives are mixed: a little pure, a little impure. If we are honest about our impure motives and share about them with our sponsors and perhaps even our fellow trusted servants, we free ourselves from their power.

We like to say that if something isn’t broke, don’t fix it but does that mean it’s the best it could possibly be? My aunt has a VCR player. She still plays VHS tapes. Do you think she should let go of the VCR and say hello to the 21st century or wait until the VCR breaks?

Do you have a PI sub-committee or a PR sub-committee? Do you know the difference between the two? Are you exploring the possibility of restructuring all the sub-committees if there’s a chance that it’s more effective? Do you have a Fellowship Development sub-committee? Do you know what it’s supposed to do and why it might be a good idea for your Area or Region?

Be Honest now. Are you Willing to be Open-minded to new ideas that might revolutionize, revitalize, and invigorate service at your entity or are you going to fight ideas that might shake things up and change the way service is provided because they’re new?

“A new idea cannot be grafted onto a closed mind…”-

Basic Text, 6th Edition, pg. 96




Disclaimer: Articles submitted for publication are the solely expressed opinion of the author and not that of BASCNA or NA as a whole. The Lifeline reserves the right to edit any article received for print. We will not print anything that attacks another persons individual character or beliefs.

2019 December Lifeline
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