I've also been very absorbed in the mine of information on YouTube in the form of documentaries and fascinating reports that would never normally be available on mainstream television. Some interesting news sources.. and I am constantly mining it for lengthy lectures on just about everything. I have to download them and listen to everything speeded up in order to get through it all. And somehow I still manage to not listen to everything.
As regards meetings, an enduring preoccupation of mine at the moment is forewarning people I suppose that length of time sober alone can mean very little. Perhaps because I frequently encounter the attitude that I might be beyond reproach because I've been sober for a long time, I find myself constantly warning people that nobody is beyond reproach including me. And that if I suddenly started acting in a strange or unreasonable way, then that behaviour speaks volumes and is far more important than how long I have been sober.
Basically I think that being around a long time makes it easier to look at who has fallen by the wayside over the last 20 something years. It seems like less of a mystery looks likethe people who come unstuck over time are compromised in some way, or have sold out in some form or other. I find it interesting over all these years watching who relapses. I hear things through the grapevine (usually when people who have been harmed in some way discuss their problems with me) about how certain AA people have been treating other people, and sure enough sometime later the people in AA who have been acting off beam seem to relapse. Eventually.
Who knows? but it's been something that's been on my mind lately because I think over the last six months or so quite a few people have crashed and burned. Meaning some people who had been around a long time and a short time who were acting in a harmful way towards others have relapsed. The masks have come off so to speak.
The good news is that the people whose program I respect have not relapsed. Every single person I know who consistently helps newcomers seems to stay sober. They might have other issues but at least they get to stay sober. I don't think AA was really intended to make everybody's issues disappear. Everyone has issues. Doesn't matter who you are. So that part doesn't bother me. The important thing is to stay sober and to try to skillfully handle the mental and emotional "stuff" in our heads instead of just being dragged around by it heedlessly. That's good enough for me. But like an Old-timer used to say "I just do my lousy best" and I think that's very good advice. Especially for those perfectionists out there.
It is my belief that the current economic pressures and general upheaval will have the effect of shaking from the tree the more "buffet-style" AA members. There are plenty of things to drive yourself mad about in the news so it will be interesting if nothing else.
Basically I think that now is a good time to keep your side of the street clean, keep your head down and maintain your service by helping others in some form or other. It's a very useful time to cultivate this selfless quality. And I don't mean be a martyr.
Despite all the fear mongering and upheaval going on I feel very positive and a little bit excited. I'm extremely glad at times like this that I had the opportunity to learn to live along spiritual lines.
Anyway sorry this post is too long again as usual. I'm going to try and be a little bit more brief because I suspect it is terribly boring reading long posts. Even with speed reading software.
Anyway I really hope everyone out there as well and maintaining a insightful and unfazed mindset in these somewhat challenging economic circumstances. Now that I have a spring cleaned kit I have no excuse not to be able to post more regularly. Thanks for taking the time to read this.