Service to others

Service to others

Like most parents, we tried to raise our children with certain values.
Among the top was service to others.

As the English-born poet W.H. Auden said,
“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”

Our daughter grew up watching us volunteer.
She witnessed Dad and Mom learning about leadership, chairing local projects and supporting friends who chose the ultimate civic commitment – a run for political office.

In part, that’s how her father became mayor of our town.

Jacob missed all that.
Coming along 15 years to the day after his sister, he was too late to learn from those earlier years.

But service was still the watchword of our household.

So it was natural to expect that he would grow up to help others.
Early in high school he was chosen for leadership programs. He was on his way.

That was before addiction changed everything.
For years, his serving others – let alone any family value – all but vanished.

Nearly eleven years ago Jacob’s recovery took hold. Mine, too.
He found his footing in AA, and I in Al-Anon.

Over time it was through AA that his abilities as a leader resurfaced.
He was asked to speak at meetings. He joined with fellow AA members to start a group for young people. Today, some 60-70 men and women attend weekly.

His was not a traditional path to service.
Nor was it the path I had thought he would follow.

Ironically, it was addiction – and my letting him go to find his own way – that returned him to a life of serving others.

And I couldn’t be more grateful, or proud.

2 Replies to “Service to others”

  1. Your honest and open writing falls within the description of service to others. I’m sure you have helped more people than you can even imagine.