A core principle behind the Eighth Tradition guides us to steer clear of the profit motive where our Primary Purpose is concerned. Twelfth Step work is never charged for but we may hire people and pay for needed services to support the work of our Group Service Work Committees, Intergroups, National Service Committees, and World Network Central Office.
I'm happy that DRA happens because of the volunteer efforts of recovering people just like me. I feel that this is MY thing... separate from all the doctors, housing authorities, and treatment team professionals I have to deal with. The whole thing here is empowering... self-empowering.
I guess some people could actually work for DRA. Maybe at the World Network Office or a big Intergroup. People with special skills maybe. I mean, I'm sure DRA has to hire lawyers and bean-counters sometimes and people to do the things that aren't Twelfth Step oriented but need to be done just the same.
We have a yearly pot-luck picnic to celebrate the anniversary of our Group. Each year we ask for volunteers to organize and publicize it. We call it our picnic committee. Once we get four or five people who are willing, they vote on a chairperson and figure out the best way to structure their committee to get the various jobs done. At our monthly business meetings their chairperson gives a report on their progress and we discuss issues like funding and take the Group Conscience when needed to make decisions on things like when, where, and how much. We have a pretty big Group and we've found that forming smaller committees like this for special projects is very effective and saves a lot of time and chaos.
We make up DRA meeting schedules for the groups in our area. We pay a quick-print shop to print and fold them because ink-jet cartridges are just way too expensive and the ink runs when it gets wet. We think this is the same as employing special workers so we can do our service work.
I think of DRA as a total program of freedom and choice. We volunteer to come to meetings. We volunteer to participate and share. We voluntarily decide to help ourselves and even reach out to help others. We volunteer to help out with service work. We volunteer to be in dual recovery one day at a time.
I remember the first time a person came up to me after a meeting and told me how helpful what I had shared during the meeting was to them. I was surprised because I was just dumping some feelings and frustrations I was having about a fairly personal issue. It was then that I realized that just by sharing honestly I had somehow made another person feel less alone. By helping myself I had touched another persons life in a positive way. There is a lot more to this self-help business than first meets the eye. DRA meetings are a process that somehow is bigger than all of the individual elements that make up the group. It starts with self help maybe but that soon grows into mutual support and love.