June 06, 2023
Service Strengthens Our Foundation
Page 164
"Service begins when we put ourselves aside and welcome the newcomer. That simple action might be the most important thing we ever do."
Guiding Principles, Tradition Two, "For Groups"

Many of us recall being welcomed by total strangers as we stumbled into our first Narcotics Anonymous meeting. We felt oddly at home in the rooms of recovery, and that fragile sense of belonging made all the difference. Every gesture mattered: a warm smile, a gentle hug, a meeting directory. When members looked in our eyes, asked our name, and treated us like a human being, we were stunned—in a good way.

Welcoming newcomers is one of the most significant things we do in NA. It's important to be welcomed and it's important to be welcoming. Those of us who have trouble getting out of our own way can extract a powerful lesson from graciously welcoming new members. We take a break from our busy brains and reinforce our belief in the NA program: "Against all odds, we are clean and it can work for you, too." It's a message we all need to hear; it keeps us anchored in Narcotics Anonymous.

When we set aside our thoughts and feelings to welcome the newcomer, we reinforce our stake in our recovery. We defy the self-centered and self-seeking nature of the disease of addiction. We shelve our burdens and answer that call from a newcomer. It offers perspective and reminds us that "we keep what we have by giving it away." Each act of service strengthens our foundation in recovery and deepens our investment in this new way of life.

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I will extend a warm welcome to a new member and pay attention to how it benefits us both.