11/3/08 BB Into Action pp 78-79(amends involving others)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

11/3/08 BB Into Action pp 78-79(amends involving others)

Postby Karl R » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:53 am

Good Morning,

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.



Saturday's reading continued the theme of amends with some talk of financial amends.

Today's reading (below in red) talks about the situation where an amends from us will harm a third party. I've found it to be true that an amends with one person often affects another person. I try to remember to ask in my daily reflection and inventory that these relationships between people and things be revealed to me. When I was drinking I was oblivious to it all and am still not very good at seeing the chains of events which may unfold.

We are given some directions in this passage today.

"Therefore, we are not to be the hasty and foolish martyr who would needlessly sacrifice others to save himself from the alcoholic pit."

"Before taking drastic action which might implicate other people we secure their consent. If we have obtained permission, have consulted with others, asked God to help and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink."

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning hasty or drastic action in the amends process?

in peace,
Karl



Usually, however, other people are involved. Therefore, we are not to be the hasty and foolish martyr who would needlessly sacrifice others to save himself from the alcoholic pit. A man we know had remarried. Because of resentment and drinking, he had not paid alimony to his first wife. She was furious. She went to court and got an order for his arrest. He had commenced our way of life, had secured a position, and was getting his head above water. It would have been impressive heroics if he had walked up to the Judge and said, "Here I am."
We thought he ought to be willing to do that if necessary, but if he were in jail he could provide nothing for either family. We suggested he write his first wife admitting his faults and asking forgiveness. He did, and also sent a small amount of money. He told her what he would try to do in the future. He said he was perfectly willing to go to jail if she insisted. Of course she did not, and the whole situation has long since been adjusted.
Before taking drastic action which might implicate other people we secure their consent. If we have obtained permission, have consulted with others, asked God to help and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink.
This brings to mind a story about one of our friends. While drinking, he accepted a sum of money from a bitterly-hated business rival, giving him no receipt for it. He subsequently denied having received the money and used the incident as a basis for discrediting the man. He thus used his own wrong-doing as a means of destroying the reputation of another. In fact, his rival was ruined.
He felt that he had done a wrong he could not possibly make right. If he opened that old affair, he was afraid it would destroy the reputation of his partner, disgrace his family and take away his means of livelihood. What right had he to involve those dependent upon him? How could he possibly make a public statement exonerating his rival?
After consulting with his wife and partner he came to the conclusion that is was better to take those risks than to stand before his Creator guilty of such ruinous slander. He saw that he had to place the outcome in God's hands or he would soon start drinking again, and all would be lost anyhow. He attended church for the first time in many years. After the sermon, he quietly got up and made an explanation. His action met wide-spread approval, and today he is one of the most trusted citizens of his town. This all happened years ago.
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Re: 11/3/08 BB Into Action pp 78-79(amends involving others)

Postby leejosepho » Tue May 15, 2012 9:07 am

... If he opened that old affair, he was afraid it would destroy the reputation of his partner, disgrace his family and take away his means of livelihood. What right had he to involve those dependent upon him? How could he possibly make a public statement exonerating his rival?

The closest I can come here is in something that actually took place later on. I had been working for a friend who had a bad reputation with his own creditors, and I had finally decided to separate myself from all of that. After quitting that job and starting my own business, I next needed the services of those same creditors and had to be very careful in how I assured them I was no longer associated with him. One or two of those people wanted me to give them inside information they could use in trying to collect from him, but I had to "just stick to my own side of the street", so to speak, and let them decide about me on my own merit without me trying to make myself look good by talking about him.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 11/3/08 BB Into Action pp 78-79(amends involving others)

Postby PaigeB » Tue May 15, 2012 12:26 pm

Before taking drastic action which might implicate other people we secure their consent.


I discussed with my sponsor a financial amend I wished to make for which there was no known amount due. I felt it affected my personal relations with this family member and I wanted to begin to do something to set it right. She agreed that if it was possible I should consider doing it and to make sure that my husband approved it before I did it as the funds in our marriage were mutual.

I discussed with my husband this large sum of money I wished to write a check for. I explained that this amount might not be enough and that the recipient may very well want more. Being a normal person (aka not an alkie) he immediately said yes and was set back only by the fact that I had not already repaid such a sum. :roll:

I wrote the check and enclosed a short note that this was a down payment and I wished to know the remaining balance due and be allowed to make payments on it. Well, it was my mom and she said that no further money would be due or expected. She went on to start to tell me all about my brothers and sister's... and I had to stop her. I didn't want to be trapped into defending them or patting myself on the back. I told her that I just happened to be at this place in my life where amends were due and the money was there. I reiterated that I could pay a paltry amount monthly or I could donate it to her choice of charity. I insisted that at least she let me buy her coffee and then we dropped it.

I did not clear it with my siblings, who may very well be under pressure now to pay their own debts. Not my problem. The potential problem was with my husband who shares a bank account with me.

Sooo - all I can say further here is what a blessing to have my sponsor, a 3rd party, to talk to about all the different ways this might play out and what was really my problem, what might possibly hurt others and what I needed to DO to take care of on my side of things.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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