Using Our Talents for the Common Good (1)

Using Our Talents for the Common Good

This morning I was praying. During my prayer ritual I received a message from an SA fellow. He asked me to write an article for Essay on the topic of Fun in Recovery. It was surprising to me, because at that very moment I was thanking God for my friends and for the fun we have when we spend time together.

From early childhood I got used to comparing myself with others and often felt flawed. That feeling went with me through my whole life. Moreover, that feeling made me run away into lust and other addictions. My illness kept saying, “You don’t have any talents. Look around: everyone but you has gained something significant, important and necessary. You are useless.”

While being influenced by my defects such as pride and ambition, I thought that becoming needed and significant to others was the same as being a great person. I found out that my illness wanted to make me feel “great” rather than be just myself. Now, as the fog of my defects has dissipated, I realize that my talent is something simple, something given to me, and consists of creating joy, fun, and comfort for other people.

I have a natural ability to create jokes that amuse others, and even me, too. I try to use this ability to create joy and fun wherever I am, whether a meeting, a cafe, or a picnic trip. I know perfectly well how easy it is to fall into discontent and self-pity in recovery. So, for me, it is very important that there is a joyful atmosphere in the places where I am.

Once at my home group, one of the newly-arrived SA members said that he was very scared to go to a meeting, and even more so to open up, but when he heard laughter and fun in our room, he felt comfortable and wanted to stay. He became willing to open up and I felt a surge of gratitude and tenderness. At that moment I realized that something that was insignificant to me could be useful to others.

Another time, when we needed to hold a convention, I remembered that I had long ago wanted to make a movie or a short video. Here my ability to amuse others under God’s guidance served the Fellowship.Together, we made a movie that moved people at the convention to laughter. In the course of preparing for the convention, we found out that our group had a large number of talented people. Some of them were not even aware of their talents, including me, until we started filming. Since then we have shot such videos for every convention held in our city.

I believe that each of us has talents that serve the common good. I would like to encourage everyone reading this to look into yourself yo find your talent. Even if you consider it insignificant, as I did, try to use that talent to create joy and unity.

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  Aleksey A., Saint Petersburg, Russia

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