"A.A. is, I suppose, just what is seems to me and it is just what it seems to you. But let us remember that to the newcomer in our meeting today A.A. is just what is seems to him/her right now." --Wino Joe(East Texas-many years ago)
"The General Service Conference Takes Its Inventory-Our Solution in Action"
Some Humor and some Reference material for our:
One of the first things my Service Sponsor, Jim T., gave to me when he first began to help me with being a Delegate was that it seemed important to him that I "get it" about these things in our A.A. life. "Sometimes", I was told, "humor is the only solution" and that we must learn to laugh at ourselves. Well I have been slow to apply this but I do see that it is very true and is helpful when I use it. In A.A. life and all of life. Especially for those of us who are involved in service and the service structure. Jim pointed me to a couple of light hearted items by Bill W. from "As Bill Sees It". Here they are:
As Bill Sees It
A.A.'s School of Life
Within A.A., I suppose, we shall always quarrel a good bit. Mostly, I think, about how to do the greatest good for the greatest number of drunks. We shall have our childish spats and snits over small questions of money management and who is going to run our groups for the next six months. Any bunch of growing children (and that is what we are) would hardly be in character if they did less.
These are the growing pains of infancy, and we actually thrive on them. Surmounting such problems, in A.A.'s rather rugged school of life, is a healthy exercise.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, P. 233
Troublemakers Can Be Teachers
Few of us are any longer afraid of what any newcomer can do to our A.A. reputation or effectiveness. Those who slip, those with mental twists, those who rebel at the program, those who trade on the A.A. reputation -- all such persons seldom harm an A.A. group for long.
Some of these have become our most respected and best loved. Some have remained to try our patience, sober nevertheless. Others have drifted away. We have begun to regard the troublesome ones not as menaces, but rather as our teachers. They oblige us to cultivate patience, tolerance, and humility. We finally see that they are only people sicker than the rest of us, that we who condemn them are the Pharisees whose false righteousness does our group the deeper spiritual damage.
GRAPEVINE, AUGUST 1946
From the Delegate:
When we encounter a discussion in our Groups, Clubs, Conferences and Conventions a good starting place is to see what "A.A. says about itself." This is always found in the written material hidden so many places right in front of us. Here are some of the places to find this hidden valuable asset which covers the things that might currently be confusing and causing us to "Spat and Snit" over things we become sure we are right about.
Here is what A.A. says about itself on issues concerning AL Anon, Clubs, Convention, Self-Support, Intergroups, Answering Services, and many recurring topics.
There is a pamphlet for most topics. We can just read and distribute the ones we have and we will be just fine as an effective fellowship to help the sufferring alcoholic still out there and those of us already here.
3. What about things that have already been throughly discussed by the whole of A.A. members U.S. and Canada? Here is a book of decisions made since 1951 through 2012 by the Conference Delegates/Trustees/Staff who meet each year. Conference approved if you will. These are the things that passed by 2/3 vote. These decisions were reached by an exhaustive debate/discussion with the minority heard. These are known as "Advisory Actions". This book lists them and is searchable in this recently made available electronic version. Search anything - Internet, Clubs, Grapevine, Al Anon, Singleness, Public Information, Anonymity etc.This uncovers everything since the beginning of the Conference structure. Advisory Actions 1951-2012.
4. Service Material: Here is wealth of material that says What A.A. is, What A.A. is not and what A.A. says about itself.
"We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence." Page 133 Alcoholics Anonymous - Da Big Book