One of my strengths has always been problem solving. I learned very early in life how to evaluate a situation and find the safest course of action for me. In high school, I was socially awkward, which made me an easy target for bullies, but the survival skills I learned growing up in an alcoholic home came in quite handy when trying to avoid those who wanted to torment me. I would simply evaluate the situation, figure out how to outsmart them, and thus avoid whatever pain they had in store for me.
Over time, these little victories gave me a sense of superiority. My ability to consistently avoid bullies made me feel better than them. As I transitioned into my adult life, I found that this type of attitude was detrimental to long-term success in the workplace. With the best of intentions, I wanted to share my “superior” intellect with anyone, in any situation, regardless of whether it was needed or not. I would ask myself, “How would they possibly figure this out without me?”
In Al‑Anon, however, I have learned to apply Concept Four and Concept Ten to my life, which relieves me of the burden I once felt to solve problems that weren’t mine to solve and the sense of superiority that went along with it. Concept Four allows me to be grateful for what everyone brings to the table, because participation really is the key to harmony. And when roles are carefully defined, as outlined in Concept Ten, it helps everyone to understand their part to play and their value to the team.
When I apply these ideas to the outreach project of distributing Al‑Anon’s public service announcements (PSAs), I think about the role of the World Service Office (WSO) as compared to the roles of local service arms and entities and individual members. The WSO produces the PSAs and distributes them to all 22,000-plus commercial radio and TV stations in the United States and Canada. This has led to a record number of airplays and a broader reach for our PSAs than ever before.
While the WSO handles distribution to commercial radio and TV stations, there is still an opportunity for local service arms and entities, as well as individual members, to involve themselves in this project by reaching out to stations not included in the WSO distribution and asking them to play our PSAs. These stations include:
- Local cable TV stations (community cable channels)
- College and university stations
- Religious stations
As these station managers agree to play our PSAs, simply send the station contact name, email address, and phone number, along with the station identifier and whether it’s a TV or radio station, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the WSO will supply them with the appropriate PSAs.
By Scot P., Associate Director—Brand Communications & Digital Strategy
The Forum, August 2022
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