I'll never forget selling a $1200 painting to a young man and his girlfriend for a hundred bucks, back in 1996...It made me feel wonderful! The snooty Gallery owner told me that, "I'd never show artwork in his gallery, ever again." I never did, and I never regretted it. I went on to bigger and better things. Those kids went on to successful jobs and became major collectors of my work. I received ten times more than I gave away.
I like sending my books to people who are facing adversity, or in need. This simple act of kindness makes me feel good for days. My actions tell me this world ain't all about me! In A.A., I learned the phrase: "If you want to keep it, you have to give it away." I guess what A.A. is talking about is sobriety...but serenity is guaranteed to me, if I do service work. I never regret having visited children's hospitals, or telling my life story in jails, or at substance abuse rehabilitation centers. Just for spending an hour or two of my time, my life gets enriched, exponentially.
Sometimes I think that God allowed me to become an alcoholic, so that I could get sober and carry the message to people who need the help I received from Him. Every time I feel sorry for myself, God puts someone in my path who has it a lot worse than me. Coincidence, you say? I don't think so. It happens to me all the time.
These days, I find myself smiling so much more than I ever have, in my entire life. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a selfish, curmudgeon of an old man! I have a long way to go in the "selflessness" department. A guy I know, (who I think is very wise), said to me that: "He's no longer selfish to the extreme, he's just selfish!" Heeeee!...That sums me up in a nutshell! I believe in my spiritual progress, not perfection. Yep! If I want to keep it, I've got to give it away!