"Old AA" Vs "New AA"

For the younger AA generation, some experience, strength and hope.
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Re: "Old AA" Vs "New AA"

Post by chefchip »

As with most divisive issues, I usually find that the people at the extremes of this one are both wrong. Why? Because people at the extremes are usually being selfish about their points of view. Oh. Before I go on. Truth in advertising. If you dig deeply enough in my past posts here you will find I was, at one point, a person on an extreme of this issue. I was very, very wrong then. Thankfully I listened when others -- here and elsewhere -- pointed that fact out to me. What I've learned is that instead of focusing on the words, it is wise to try to get behind the words to the intent.
dougc wrote:i heard three times this week from oldtimers in meetings that newcomers should sit down and shut up. wonder what page THAT is in the BB
This is certainly a valid question from dougc. I agree that "sit down and shut up" is harsh and uncalled for. But, it is based upon a fact. Newcomers should do very little talking about recovery until they actually have worked the program. In my early months, I did a lot of listening and pondering. If I needed to explore things, I did so with my sponsor and my sponsorship family.

On the other side of that, we have all met too many people who think they are entitled to give their opinions on subjects they have no direct knowledge about. That is just as wrong, and selfish, as "sit down and shut up." Twelve step recovery is not about what I think or feel about the steps. In fact, my feelings about the steps aren't relevant. If I don't like them, I am free to work another path to recovery. AA does not claim to have the only one of those, you know.

The Big a Book may not say newcomers should "sit down and shut up" but it does imply that newcomers would be wise to try our simple program as it is outlined. Our faulty thinking got us to the point of needing recovery. Believing that our faulty thinking will "fix AA" is a little on the arrogant side, in my opinion. First, it assumes that AA needs fixing, something I highly doubt. Secondly, it assumes that we -- of all of the alcoholics in the world -- are somehow qualified to fix what we do not even completely understand.

I'm slowly learning that I need to listen -- really listen -- to what another believes, and understand why they believe it. That doesn't mean I have to agree. But I find that when I make that effort, I usually learn a thing or two about a thing or two.
The only constant in life is change.
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