Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Participation...


I am involved in a conversation on another forum about the idea of how we support our meetings in accordance with our Traditions.  I rattled of a response on that group and was thinking of just posting that writing here when I realized I'd written something very similar to the response in an article I'd done on the Seventh Tradition here last summer.

It still bugs me that people, especially young people (in both sobriety and age), don't feel any need or desire to participate in AA - either by putting anything in the basket or by showing up and taking their turn keeping the doors open in one place or another.  More than 3/4 of those in attendance at my home group's main meeting contribute nothing (I used to be the treasurer and still can't help but notice).

My own recent situation has been that I've been putting money in the basket even when I don't have enough to cover my bills.  I also find myself participating in a number of different ways in a number of different parts of the fellowship when it seems like it would be a much  more responsible use of my time and energy to look for employment or find some way to generate income.

My motivations are generally selfish (true statement generally as well in the matter at hand), but clearly something is different from my experience and the young friends I find at meetings.  Frankly, I make the choices I make because I think my life depends on it.

Makes me wonder, many days recently, am I just a fool?

Probably.

However, in 25 years (26 next month), I've never been even close to starving and I have had a life that's beyond my wildest imaginings.  Why would this end?

It might.

Among all the things I've learned in and around the rooms of AA, there are no guarantees.

But, for this recent time, AA and the life that it's given me has been the core substance of my life.  Family, friends, my life's work, all my various modes of entertainment - they have all flowed from the source that I found in the rooms of AA.

And, they still allow me to put a bit in the basket and sometimes accept my meager talents when they need them...

What a great deal...

7 comments:

Steve E said...

"Makes me wonder, many days recently, am I just a fool?
Probably" NOT!

Syd said...

I don't think that you are a fool. I think that you are being responsible and caring about a program that has given so much to you. I wonder whether the others will be able to reflect as you do after 25 + years sober.

Mary Christine said...

It was pounded into me and it isn't pounded into them. I was told that if I had one dollar to my name, I was to put it in the basket when it was passed. I did that on more than one occasion and never once regretted it. When was the last time you heard anyone talk about the spiritual significance of "giving" in a meeting?

Mary LA said...

Last Tuesday I sat in a meeting out on a farm where an elderly Xhosa man had walked 12 miles to reach the meeting because it is so important to him. He brought bread his wife had baked in case there was anyone hungry at the meeting. And he put five rand (about 0.05 dollars!) into the collection plate, all he had on him.

People will only take AA for granted until there are no local meetings, nobody to chair, nobody willing to sponsor, nobody making coffee or empotying ashtrays or doing service. And then they will realise what has been lost.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

I was told that if I had money to drink, I had money for the basket, even if it was all I had.

I chair a meeting and am always there early with coffee and work the treasurey, it is a gift to give when all I used to do was take...thanks Ed for the reminder!

xo Gabi

Pam said...

It bothers me a little when folks come to the meeting once a year to pick up a heavy metal chip that the group has to pay for. I agree with Mary, we need to raise them right.

Scott W said...

I told myself when I came back this time that if I had a dollar in my pocket it would go into the basket. Somehow I have always had that dollar, now it is two, but somehow I have been provided for. If, for some reason I am without cash I make up for it later. It was the agreement I made, one of the little things that has kept me sober.