Being open-minded means allowing others to come to their own conclusions, and find their own way to recovery. There are different ways and approaches to sobriety, but the Program of A.A. strongly suggests that I make use of what has worked for others. There are some basic guidelines to the Program, and while the term “suggest” is used, many find that to mean “must.” Or as it is said in the Program, “If you want what we have, you need to do what we do.” I know that I “must” practice abstinence. I know that I “must” work the Steps. I know that I “must” find my Higher Power, and become willing to follow His will for me. While I know there are some definite “musts” in the Program, I also know that I must come to an acceptance of these “musts” on my own. I “must” find my own path to recovery. . . no one can force to me an acceptance of A.A.

I try to reach out to others, especially those who are new to the Program. Doing anything to help can mean a variety of things; from rides to meetings, to conversations before and after the meetings, to phone calls to and from the newcomer, however that may define itself, I work to remain available and willing to be of service to others. I only need remember how I felt when I was new – how unsure of everything I was, how scared I was to walk through that door, how impossible the task of getting sober seemed. Having someone to talk with always helps – and then I remind myself that is HOW we work the Program – by being Honest, Open-minded, and Willing. That applies to not only the newcomer but to those of us who have been in the Program a while – regardless of our time in the Program, we all need to remember HOW.