When I was newly sober, my sponsor used to say “polish here, shine there.” At the time, I had no idea what that meant. She used that phrase in reference to being self supporting in the world and being of service in AA. The 7th tradition in our 12-step program stresses being self-supporting through our own contributions. From the moment I stepped foot into meetings, I was given the opportunity to work; wash coffee cups, move chairs, bring literature, set up the meeting, and the list goes on. I used to grumble about working for free. Truth be told, I was building my character and my spiritual bank account. When I got my first job waiting tables, I complained that I had experienced a rough life and people should tip accordingly. Boy was I disappointed! But I heard my sponsor’s voice again, “polish here and shine there.” If I do my best at everything I do, if I polish and take care of the task at hand, a light will shine somewhere else. This is an act of faith, or what is also known as acting as if.
In the last couple of years, I have worked some menial jobs due to the downturn in the economy. With 31 years sober and a master’s degree, I have worked for minimum wage, and for people who had a 7th grade education. But I learned in AA to give my employers a dime for their nickel; to show up early and stay late. I recently got a call about a temporary job at a prestigious university that I didn’t even apply for, and I start on Tuesday. It solidified what I practiced early on, and what has remained a practice for me throughout the years. No job is too small and no task to menial, for my life depends on service and being self-supporting.Share post