Author Topic: Just For Today  (Read 209258 times)

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Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1563 on: November 10, 2015, 11:14:58 AM »
November 10
Fear or faith?
“No matter how far we ran, we always carried fear with us.”
Basic Text, p. 14
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For many of us, fear was a constant factor in our lives before we came to Narcotics Anonymous.   We used because we were afraid to feel emotional or physical pain.  Our fear of people and situations gave us a convenient excuse to use drugs.  A few of us were so afraid of everything that we were unable even to leave our homes without using first.
As we stay clean, we replace our fear with a belief in the fellowship, the steps, and a Higher Power.  As this belief grows, our faith in the miracle of recovery begins to color all aspects of our lives.  We start to see ourselves differently.  We realize we are spiritual beings, and we strive to live by spiritual principles.
The application of spiritual principles helps eliminate fear from our lives.  By refraining from treating other people in harmful or unlawful ways, we find we needn’t fear how we will be treated in return.  As we practice love, compassion, understanding, and patience in our relationships with others, we are treated in turn with respect and consideration.  We realize these positive changes result from allowing our Higher Power to work through us.  We come to believe—not to think, but to believe—that our Higher Power wants only the best for us.  No matter what the circumstances, we find we can walk in faith instead of fear.
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Just for today:  I no longer need to run in fear, but can walk in faith that my Higher Power has only the best in store for me.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1562 on: November 09, 2015, 09:56:01 AM »
November 9
The best-laid plans
“It is our actions that are important.  We leave the results to our Higher Power.”
Basic Text, p. 91
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There’s an old saying we sometimes hear in our meetings:  “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.”  When we hear this we usually laugh, too, but there’s a nervous edge to our laughter.  We wonder if all of our carefully laid plans are doomed to fail.  If we’re planning a big event—a wedding, a return to school, or perhaps a career change—we begin to wonder if our plans are the same as our Higher Power’s plans.  We are capable of working ourselves into such a frenzy of worry over this question that we refuse to make any plans at all.
But the simple fact is that we really don’t know whether our Higher Power’s plans for our lives are carved in stone or not.  Most of us have opinions about fate and destiny but, whether we believe in such theories or not, we still have a responsibility to live our lives and make plans for the future.  If we refuse to accept responsibility for our lives, we’re still making plans—plans for a shallow, boring existence.
What we make in recovery are plans, not results.  We’ll never know whether the marriage, the education, or the new job is going to work out until we try it.  We simply exercise our best judgment, check with our sponsor, pray, use all the information at hand, and make the most reasonable plans we can.  For the rest, we trust in the loving care of the God of our understanding, knowing that we’ve acted responsibly.
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Just for today:  I will make plans, but I will not plan the results.  I will trust in my Higher Power’s loving care.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1561 on: November 08, 2015, 01:13:41 PM »
November 8
Freed from insanity
“Do I believe it would be insane to walk up to someone and say, ‘May I please have a heart attack or a fatal accident?’”
Basic Text, p. 24
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We’ve heard it said that unless we’re in love, we can’t remember what love feels like.  The same could be said of insanity:  Once we’re freed of it, we may forget how truly bizarre our insane thinking can be.  But to be grateful for the degree of sanity to which we’ve been restored in Narcotics Anonymous, we need to remember just how truly insane we’ve been.
Today, it may be hard to imagine saying something as ridiculous as, “May I please have a heart attack or a fatal accident?”  No one in their right mind is going to ask for such things.  And that’s the point.  In our active addiction, we were not in our right mind.  Each day we practiced our addiction, we courted fatal disease, degradation, exploitation, impoverishment, imprisonment, death by violence, even death by sheer stupidity.  In that context, the idea of asking for a heart attack or a fatal accident doesn’t sound all that far out.  That’s how insane we’ve been.
The program, the fellowship, and our Higher Power—together, they’ve worked a miracle.  The Second Step is not a vain hope—it is reality.  Knowing the degree of the insanity we’ve experienced, we can appreciate all the more the miraculous Power that has restored us thus far to sanity.  For that, we are truly grateful.
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Just for today:  I will take some time to recall how insane I’ve been while practicing my addiction.  Then, I will thank my Higher Power for the sanity that’s been restored to my life.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1560 on: November 01, 2015, 01:24:21 AM »
November 1
Awakening
“God helps us as we help each other.”
Basic Text, p. 51
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Our addiction caused us to think almost exclusively of ourselves.  Even our prayers—if we prayed at all—were self-centered.  We asked God to fix things for us or get us out of trouble.  Why?  Because we didn’t want to live with the problems we’d created for ourselves.  We were insecure.  We thought life was about getting, and we always wanted more.
And in recovery we get more—more than just not using.  The spiritual awakening we experience in working the Twelve Steps reveals to us a life we never dreamed possible.  We no longer need to worry about whether there will be “enough,” for we come to rely on a loving Higher Power who meets all our daily needs.  Relieved of our incessant insecurity, we no longer see the world as a place in which to compete with others for the fulfillment of our desires.  Instead, we see the world as a place in which to live out the love our Higher Power has shown us.  Our prayers are not for instant gratification; they are for help in helping each other.
Recovery awakens us from the nightmare of self-centeredness, strife, and insecurity that lies at the core of our disease.  We wake up to a new reality: All that is worth having can be kept only by giving it away.
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Just for today:  My God helps me as I help others.  Today, I will seek help in giving away the love my Higher Power has given me, knowing that is the way to keep it.
 
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1559 on: October 24, 2015, 04:55:40 AM »
October 24
Responsibility
“We are not responsible for our disease, only for our recovery.  As we begin to apply what we have learned, our lives begin to change for the better.”
Basic Text, p. 91
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The further we go in recovery, the less we avoid responsibility for ourselves and our actions.  By applying the principles of the Narcotics Anonymous program, we are able to change our lives.  Our existence takes on new meaning as we accept responsibility and the freedom of choice responsibility implies.  We do not take recovery for granted.
We take responsibility for our recovery by working the Twelve Steps with a sponsor.  We go to meetings regularly and share with the newcomer what was freely given to us: the gift of recovery.  We become involved with our home group and accept responsibility for our part in sharing recovery with the still-suffering addict.  As we learn how to effectively practice spiritual principles in all areas of our lives, the quality of our lives improves.
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Just for today:  Using the spiritual tools I’ve gained in recovery, I am willing and able to make responsible choices.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1558 on: October 20, 2015, 11:14:22 AM »
October 20
Freedom to choose
“Enforced morality lacks the power that comes to us when we choose to live a spiritual life.”
Basic Text, p. 45
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In our active addiction, many of us lived our lives by default.  We were unwilling or unable to make choices about how we wanted to act, what we preferred to do, or even where we would live.  We allowed the drugs or other people to make our most basic decisions for us.  Freedom from active addiction means, among other things, the freedom to make those choices for ourselves.
Freedom of choice is a wonderful gift, but it’s also a great responsibility.  Choice allows us to find out who we are and what we believe in.  However, in exercising it, we’re called on to weigh our own choices and accept the consequences.  This leads some of us to seek out someone who will make our choices for us—our sponsor, our home group, our NA friends—just as our disease made our choices for us when we were using.  That’s not recovery.
Seeking others’ experience is one thing; abdicating personal responsibility is something else.  If we don’t use the gift of freedom we’ve been given, if we refuse to accept the responsibilities that go along with it, we’ll lose that gift and our lives will be diminished.  We are responsible for our own recovery and our own choices.  Difficult as it may seem, we must make those choices for ourselves and become willing to accept the consequences.
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Just for today:  I am grateful for the freedom to live as I choose.  Today, I will accept responsibility for my recovery, make my own choices, and accept the consequences.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1557 on: October 07, 2015, 11:08:55 AM »
October 7
Depending on our Higher Power
“As recovering addicts, we find that we are still dependent, but our dependence has shifted from the things around us to a loving God and the inner strength we get in our relationship with Him.”
Basic Text, pp.  71
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For many addicts, rebelliousness is second nature.  We didn’t want to depend on anyone or anything, and especially not on God.  The beauty of using, we thought, was that it gave us the power to be and feel anything we wanted, all by ourselves.  But the price we paid for this illusory freedom was a dependence beyond our worst nightmares.  Rather than freeing us, using enslaved us.
When we came to Narcotics Anonymous, we learned that dependence on God didn’t have to mean what we may have thought it meant.  Yes, if we wanted to be restored to sanity, we would need to tap “a Power greater than ourselves.”  However, we could choose our own concept of this Higher Power—we could even make one up.  Dependence on a Higher Power would not limit us, we discovered; it would free us.
The Power we find in recovery is the power we lacked on our own.  It is the love we were afraid to depend on others for.  It is the sense of personal direction we never had, the guidance we couldn’t humble ourselves to ask for or trust others to give.  It is all these things, and it is our own.  Today, we are grateful to have a Higher Power to depend on.
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Just for today:  I will depend on the love and inner strength I draw from the God of my own understanding.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1556 on: October 06, 2015, 09:38:43 AM »
October 6
Amends without expectations
“Projections about actually making amends can be a major obstacle both in making the list and in becoming willing.”
Basic Text, p. 39
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The Eighth Step asks us to become willing to make amends to all persons we have harmed.  As we approach this step, we may wonder what the outcome of our amends will be.  Will we be forgiven?  Relieved of any lingering guilt?  Or will we be tarred and feathered by the persons we’ve harmed?
Our tendency to seek forgiveness must be surrendered if we expect to receive the spiritual benefits of the Eighth and Ninth Steps.  If we approach these steps expecting anything, we’re likely to be very disappointed with the results.  We want to ask ourselves if we are pinning our hopes on gaining the forgiveness of the person to whom we are making amends.  Or maybe we’re hoping we’ll be excused from our debts by some sympathetic creditor moved to tears by our hard-luck story.
We need to be willing to make our amends regardless of the outcome.  We can plan the amends, but we can’t plan the results.  Although we may not be granted a full pardon by everyone to whom we owe amends, we will learn to forgive ourselves.  In the process, we will find that we no longer have to carry the burdens of the past.
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Just for today:  I will let go of any expectations I have on the people to whom I owe amends.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1555 on: October 05, 2015, 02:05:07 PM »
October 5
Ask for mercy, not justice
“Many of us have difficulty admitting that we caused harm for others... We cut away our justifications and our ideas of being a victim.
Basic Text, p. 38
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Our lives are progressing nicely. Things are going good, and each year in recovery brings more material and spiritual gifts. We may have a little money in the bank, a new car, or a committed relationship. We have a little self-confidence, and our faith in a Higher Power is growing.
Then, something happens. Someone breaks into our new car and steals the stereo, or the person we’re in the relationship with becomes unfaithful. Right away, we feel victimized. “Where’s the justice?” we wail. But if we take a look back on our own behavior, we may find that we’ve been guilty of doing what’s just been done to us. We realize we wouldn’t really want justice—not for ourselves, and not for others. What we want is mercy.
We thank a loving God for the compassion we’ve been shown, and we take the time to appreciate all the precious gifts that recovery brings.
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Just for today: I will pray for mercy, not justice. I am grateful for the compassion I’ve been shown, and will offer mercy to others.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1554 on: October 04, 2015, 09:41:30 PM »
October 4
Thirty-day wonder
“When we first begin to enjoy relief from our addiction, we run the risk of assuming control of our lives again.  We forget the agony and pain that we have known.”
Basic Text, p. 50
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Many of us have been “thirty-day wonders.”  We were desperate and dying when we showed up at our first NA meeting.  We identified with the addicts we met there and the message they shared.  With their support, we were finally able to stop using and catch a free breath.  For the first time in a long, long time, we felt at home.  Overnight, our lives were transformed; we walked, talked, ate, drank, slept, and dreamed Narcotics Anonymous.
Then, Narcotics Anonymous lost its novelty.  Meetings that had been a thrill became monotonous.  Our wonderful NA friends became bores; their uplifting NA talk, drivel.  When our former friends called, inviting us back for some of the old fun, we kissed our recovery goodbye.
Sooner or later, we made our way back to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous.  Nothing had changed out there, we’d discovered—not us, not our friends, not the drugs, not anything.  If anything, it had gotten worse than ever.
True, NA meetings may not be a laugh riot, and our NA friends may not be spiritual giants.  But there’s a power in the meetings, a common bond among the members, a life to the program that we can’t do without.  Today, our recovery is more than just a fad—it’s a way of life.  We’re going to practice living our program like our lives depend on it, because they do.
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Just for today:  I’m no “thirty-day wonder.”  The NA way is my way of life, and I’m here for the duration.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1553 on: October 03, 2015, 01:47:00 PM »
October 3
Losing self-will
“Our egos, once so large and dominant, now take a back seat because we are in harmony with a loving God.  We find that we lead richer, happier, and much fuller lives when we lose self-will.”
Basic Text, p. 105
––––=––––
Addiction and self-will go hand in hand.  The unmanageability that we admitted to in Step One was as much a product of our self-will as it was of our chronic drug abuse.  And today, living on self-will can make our lives just as unmanageable as they were when we were using.  When our ideas, our desires, our demands take first place in our lives, we find ourselves in constant conflict with everyone and everything around us.
Self-will reflects our reliance on ego.  The only thing that will free us from self-will and the conflict it generates in our lives is to break our reliance on ego, coming to rely instead on the guidance and power offered us by a loving God.
We are taught to consult spiritual principles, not our selfish desires, in making our decisions.  We are taught to seek guidance from a Higher Power, one with a larger vision of things than our own.  In doing this, we find our lives meshing more and more easily with the order of things around us.  No longer do we exclude ourselves from the flow of life; we become a part of it, and discover the fullness of what recovery has to offer.
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Just for today:  I seek freedom from ego and the conflicts generated by self-will.  I will try to improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding, seeking the guidance and power I need to live in harmony with my world.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1552 on: September 27, 2015, 03:04:58 PM »
September 27
Right back up
“There is something in our self-destructive personalities that cries for failure.”
Basic Text, p. 80
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“Poor me; woe is me; look at me, my life is such a mess!  I’ve fallen, and no matter how hard I try, I continue to fail.”  Many of us came to NA singing this sad refrain.
Life isn’t like that anymore.  True, sometimes we still stumble; at times we even fall.  Sometimes we feel like we can’t move forward in our lives, no matter how hard we try.  But the truth of the matter is that, with the help of other recovering addicts in NA, we find a hand to pull us up, dust us off, and help us start all over again.  That’s the new refrain in our lives today.
No longer do we say, “I’m a failure and I’m going nowhere.”  Usually, it’s more like, “Rats!  I hit that same bump in the road of life again.  Pretty soon I’ll learn to slow down or avoid it entirely.”  Until then, we may continue to fall down occasionally, but we’ve learned that there’s always a helping hand to set us on our feet again.
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Just for today:  If I begin to cry failure, I’ll remember there is a way to move forward.  I will accept the encouragement and support of NA.
Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Offline Monkey

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1551 on: September 26, 2015, 11:30:43 AM »
 If you cannot read this message, then please go to http://www.jftna.org/jft
September 26
Seeing ourselves in others
“It will not make us better people to judge the faults of another.”
Basic Text, p. 38
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How easy it is to point out the faults of others!  There’s a reason for this:  The defects we identify most easily in others are often the defects we are most familiar with in our own characters.  We may notice our best friend’s tendency to spend too much money, but if we examine our own spending habits we’ll probably find the same compulsiveness.  We may decide our sponsor is much too involved in service, but find that we haven’t spent a single weekend with our families in the past three months because of one service commitment or another.
What we dislike in our fellows are often those things we dislike most in ourselves.  We can turn this observation to our spiritual advantage.  When we are stricken with the impulse to judge someone else, we can redirect the impulse in such a way as to recognize our own defects more clearly.  What we see will guide our actions toward recovery and help us become emotionally healthy and happy individuals.
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Just for today:  I will look beyond the character defects of others and recognize my own.

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1550 on: September 12, 2015, 05:26:47 PM »
September 12 , 2015

New horizons

“My life is well-rounded and I am becoming a more comfortable version of myself, not the neurotic, boring person that I thought I’d be without drugs.”

 

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Is there really life without drugs?  Newcomers are sure that they are destined to lead a humdrum existence once they quit using.  That fear is far from reality.

Narcotics Anonymous opens the door to a new way of life for our members.  The only thing we lose in NA is our slavery to drugs.  We gain a host of new friends, time to pursue hobbies, the ability to be stably employed, even the capacity to pursue an education if we so desire.  We are able to start projects and see them through to completion.  We can go to a dance and feel comfortable, even if we have two left feet.  We start to budget money to travel, even if it’s only with a tent to a nearby campsite.  In recovery, we find out what interests us and pursue new pastimes.  We dare to dream.

Life is certainly different when we have the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous to return to.  Through the love we find in NA, we begin to believe in ourselves.  Equipped with this belief, we venture forth into the world to discover new horizons.  Many times, the world is a better place because an NA member has been there.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I can live a well-rounded, comfortable life—a life I never dreamed existed.  Recovery has opened new horizons to me and equipped me to explore them.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1549 on: September 11, 2015, 07:57:04 PM »
September 11 , 2015

Bend with the wind

“We learn to become flexible...  As new things are revealed, we feel renewed.”

Basic Text, p. 102

––––=––––

“Flexibility” was not a part of the vocabulary we used in our using days.  We’d become obsessed with the raw pleasure of our drugs and hardened to all the softer, subtler, more infinitely varied pleasures of the world around us.  Our disease had turned life itself into a constant threat of jails, institutions, and death, a threat against which we hardened ourselves all the more.  In the end we became brittle.  With the merest breath of life’s wind we crumbled at last, broken, defeated, with no choice but to surrender.

But the beautiful irony of recovery is that, in our surrender, we found the flexibility we had lost in our addiction, the very lack of which had defeated us.  We regained the ability to bend in life’s breeze without breaking.  When the wind blew, we felt its loving caress against our skin, where once we would have hardened ourselves as if against the onrush of a storm.

The winds of life blow new airs our way each moment, and with them new fragrances, new pleasures, varied, subtly different.  As we bend with life’s wind, we feel and hear and touch and smell and taste all it has to offer us.  And as new winds blow, we feel renewed.

––––=––––

Just for today:  Higher Power, help me bend with life’s wind and glory in its passing.  Free me from rigidity.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .