We can be of service in many different ways in recovery. A primary way we are of service to others happens 24 hours a day- every hour we stay clean and sober. According to The Prosocial Tendencies Measure scale, there are different behaviors to indicate the kind of service people are doing. These categories can help you decide how you want to be or already are being of service. They include:
- Public: Being of service in the public sense is often criticized. Charitable giving and volunteering can have as much of a personal benefit as a benefit to those being helped. Donating to charity, volunteering time, or serving in public is done in front of others. These exhibitionary activities could be done purely out of the desire to receive accolades from others.
- Altruistic: True giving and true service is called altruism. The hallmark of altruism is in a saying, you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or you can teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Being of service through altruism means truly giving to others without expecting anything in return. More importantly, altruism is a true form of paying it forward- you’re giving without expecting to receive while teaching others to give to others as well.
- Dire: Life can present many emergencies and urgent situations in which we might be called to the cause and help another person. Emergencies can be great and small. No matter the urgent task, if we are available and have the ability, we can offer ourselves to others who are in need.
- Emotional: Listening to a friend talk is sometimes the most beneficial way to be of service. Affective forms of being of service connect one person’s humanity to another. Being of service is being a good person. Being of emotional service, like lending an ear, lending a shoulder to cry on, encouragement, comforting, and more, is being a good human, lending your emotional humanity to another person.
- Anonymous: Sometimes it is the best way of being of service to someone or something when they don’t know who helped them. We can anonymously donate or lend a service to someone without them knowing it. This can eliminate the controversy of public forms of being of service.
- Compliance: Lastly, we do what we are asked to do. Many in recovery call this “showing up”. We take out the garbage. We run errands. We help our family. We help our friends. When we’re asked to do something, we do it. We’re of service by being present, showing up, and taking responsibility in our relationships.
Design For Change encourages patients to finish the twelve steps before they graduate one of our treatment programs. Able to sponsor and help others, our patients are empowered by the change they made in their own recovery and can carry the message to others that they are capable of recovering, too. For information on our residential treatment programs and recovery services, call us today at (877) 267-3646.