And yes. That includes me. (Just in case you have the MISFORTUNE to either put me on a ? 'pedestal', or conclude that I am any less FALLIBLE than any other human being)
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; THEY DO NOT GOVERN.
"ever reminding us to place principles BEFORE personalities."
Yes on the one hand, if people are VERY new, or I have GRAVE, IMMEDIATE concerns about them, I MAY choose to suggest something VERY clearly. But OUTSIDE of that, (after step 9 really) I would MUCH PREFER people to think for themselves.
That's one (of the many) reasons why I prefer not to sponsor formally after step 9. I want people to START THINKING FOR THEMSELVES.
Ok , if they REALLY want to ask me about something in particular, fair enough. But what I DON"T want them to do, is to end up thinking that they are SOMEHOW INCAPABLE OF FIGURING THINGS OUT FOR THEMSELVES.
Apart from the fact that I would have NO FREE TIME WHATSOVER if I chose NOT to do that. I strongly believe that it is in THEIR best interests to learn to start to trust their OWN judgment.
I just don't think its right if you end up thinking that you are ALWAYS wrong, or that you cant make a decision about something without asking a dozen people.
Basically its all about balance.
Yeah, some cant make a decision for love nor money and end up asking a TON of people. And then others think they know everything!!! And are a bit peculiar in my opinion!
Yeah, and the ones that are angry, depressed, or fearful, well they cant see the wood for the trees so they have a lop sided view which isn't very good when trying to make decisions. Oh well.
I mean the 'normal' ones. (after step 9 really) They need to be FAR more confident of their perceptions and their ability to figure things out. Yes, of course they will make STUPID mistakes, but that's going to happen anyway. Life involves taking risks. You cant avoid that. And with risk comes the possibility of embarrassing failure.
Personally I LOVE asking cool people questions about how to go about my life. (Any excuse to talk to them really) But there are not many people that fall into that category I'm afraid to say.
What I was TRYING to say before I got HOPELESSLY sidetracked, is
DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY PEOPLE IN AA (or any other 12 step programme) WHO PROFESS TO BE AN 'AUTHORITY' ON ??? ANY ASPECT OF RECOVERY.
I may be infuriatingly clear in the manner in which I choose to express myself, but I do NOT, I repeat.. NOT
THINK I HAVE GOT IT ALL FIGURED OUT.
And in fact I go to a LOT of trouble to try VERY HARD to communicate that to people. In fact it ANNOYS me when anybody makes that assumption about me, or any other member of AA. I find admiring comments quite ikky too..
So there you go.
So, Don't EVER let ANYBODY talk DOWN to you. EVER. (Talking down to you is SUPERIORITY, not humility.)
Or I will send the boys round!! Heheh..
See? I can be intimidating TOO when I try!!. Were you scared???
Oh well. Never mind. Maybe next time...
PS: Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against expertise. I think when I say 'authority' here I mean something that appears to be 'superior, or 'better than', in a way that INHIBITS one from including ones own version of events. Sort of like when you dismiss your own concerns because you think 'they know better'. That's what I mean. What Im trying to describe here is arrogance and superiority, not expertise.
For instance I really like Bill gates, and he is very much an expert, but I do not perceive him as presenting himself as 'the final word' on matters regarding computers. He does not strike me as 'superior'. Or an 'unquestioned authority'.
Anyway I hope that makes it a little clearer..
- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Supposed 'Authorities' in AA: Don't be INTIMIDATED by them. Make your OWN mind up.
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I see what you write and it is so clear. However, I do find that when in the presence of those who dominate the group and do try to govern it, I find that I am indignant. I want to get away from these people. If I recognize this in another, then I also must have it, right? It is confusing to me because I don't want to have any characteristics of the person--not the arrogance, the superiority, the meanspirit--none of it. What I do is keep my mouth shut and then stew over it later. Not productive at all.
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