OA Responsibility Pledge – Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.
Question – What have you gained from OA? Do you feel that certain sense to repay? How can you give back?
I have been in program for more than twenty-three years. I came in to prove to my doctor that OA, like everything else I’d tried, wouldn’t work. I weighed 359 pounds (163 kg) and thought I didn’t belong.
Then I heard about gratitude and giving back what had been given. So I went to meet- ings, shared, and qualified. I sponsored. That was enough. Then I started doing service above the group level and thought again, well, that is enough.
I was pretty sure I never took a pledge of any kind. But I started hearing about this OA pledge and finally saw it in the literature. OA’s Responsibility Pledge says, “Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.”
I thought the message was good. A pledge is a promise. I’d never thought before about promising to extend my hand or my heart, but I started asking myself how I personally take the pledge. Do I routinely greet newcomers and follow up with a phone call? If I know someone is struggling, do I reach out to that person? Do I support OA financially and in service? Is there more I can do?
If I reach out in small ways, there is so much I can do:
- Arrive early to a meeting so I can smile, make eye contact, ask how someone is doing, and listen.
- Greet a newcomer (or someone who looks as lost as I once was).
- Pay attention at meetings and not check my phone to see if I received any all-important texts.
- Raise my hand to share, even when I don’t think I have anything to say.
- Get newcomers’ phone numbers and give mine, telling them, “Give me a call. It will help.”
- Do service if someone asks me to. I will get so much more out of it than I give.
- Give to the Seventh Tradition. OA needs financial support to continue to reach the still- suffering.
- Stay after a meeting and make sure I speak to at least one person.
- Break my anonymity when I think a person is interested or has questions. I used to wear my disease; now I’m willing to wear my recovery.
- Pledge to be responsible.
OA was there for me, and I want OA to be there for all who share my compulsion!
~ Karen C., Everett, Massachusetts USA (from A Step Ahead, 3rd Quarter 2016)