Wednesday, 9 May 2012

What is my own business I'm supposed to be minding?


My own business is my contribution to the world, performing God's work well. It does not mean blithely turning a blind eye to everything wrong in the world.
If I see an advert asking for a donation to help rescue animals and respond by setting up a regular bank transfer, am I minding my own business? Absolutely. Because, when I see suffering, it is my business to take what action I can to alleviate it.
If my home group is deviating from the Traditions and losing its focus and I speak up and suggest what we could be doing better, am I minding my own business? Absolutely. I am co-responsible for my home group.
If I see harmful behaviour in the group, e.g. predatory men, is it my business to say something? Absolutely. The unity of the group and the welfare of the object of the predation are more important than the 'boundaries' of the predator.
This argument, 'interfere or leave well alone' often falls into 'change everything in the world' or 'sit at home and let everything go to hell'.
You don't have to choose between these two options.
As Pope John XXIII said, 'Omnia videre, multa dissimulare, pauca corrigere', or 'see everything, disregard most things, correct a little'.
People genuinely fired with the Spirit change the world drastically and are vigorously active in it.
The question is not whether we are supine milksops or dictatorial untreated Al-Anons.
The question is when, where, and how, and that is why we need God.
Only God can guide me in the moment regarding when to shut up and when to speak up. When to do nothing and when to say something. When to be gentle and when to be firm.
Having a rule: 'never interfere' or 'always interfere' is a jolly good way of avoiding having to rely on God, because then, instead, we can rely on our man-made rule, and hide behind pseudo-spirituality to divest ourselves all genuine responsibility or go on a self-justifying rampage.
God has no hands but ours. If we do not act, who will?
Only God knows the answers, which is why, moment by moment, my reliance must always be on Him.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Tips on sharing


Some tips that have helped me re sharing at meetings.

(1) Always mention something to do with alcoholic drinking. People who don't know you will connect better if they know you're one of them.

(2) Mention a current or recent difficulty. People who are new or struggling will also connect better if they realise you're a human who experiences difficulties from time to time rather than a lecturer from a superior, unattainable planet.

(3) Mention the Big Book. People need to know where the path to the solution lies and what it is. They can't argue with it, because most don't know what is in it.

(4) Mention what Step-oriented actions you have taken and are taking about (1) and (2) and the results you have been getting.

(5) Speak from your own experience of identifying with or taking actions based on the Big Book rather than lecturing on its contents. Stories always come across better than lectures. Also, no one can argue with your experience. They weren't there.

It's possible, in 3 minutes, to get newcomers to identify with you without intimidating them AND to share a solution.

It's not either/or.