Welcome to the October edition of the Alanoclubs.com monthly newsletter. Here at our offices, thankfulness and gratitude have been on our minds lately, coming up regularly in discussion and not just because we are preparing for the Season of Gratitude, a season marked by Thanksgiving and soon, by the winter holidays. While we try to make it a regular attitude all year round, thankfulness is particularly poignant this time of year, as the nights get longer and the grey days of November start to set in. So, Alanoclub.com readers, let us pause a few moments each day to breathe deep and give thanks for the blessings we have. Let us look around and truly see the gifts we have been given, and let us take the time to thank with words or with deeds those who have given to us. Take it One Day at a time readers, and we will see you next month.
The Laughter and Learning Corner
There was a lady who was a Southern Baptist, attended services, and taught Sunday School every week.
One Sunday an out of town acquaintance, a gentleman, was in the pew right behind her. He noted what a fine looking woman she was. While they were taking up the collection, the man leaned forward and said, “Hey, how about you and I having dinner on Tuesday?”
“Why yes, that would be nice”, the lady responded. Well, the gentleman couldn’t believe his luck.
On Tuesday he picked the lady up and took her to the finest restaurant in that part of South Carolina. When they sat down, the gentleman looked over at her and suggested, “Would you like a cocktail before dinner?”
“Oh, no,” said the fine example of southern womanhood, “What ever would I tell my Sunday School class?”
Well, the gentleman was set back a bit, so he didn’t say much until after dinner, when he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and asked, “Would you like a smoke?”
“Oh my goodness no,” said the woman. “I couldn’t face my Sunday School class if I did!”
Well, the man felt pretty low after that, so they left, got in his car and as he was driving the lady home, they passed the local Holiday Inn. He’d been morally rebuffed twice already, so he figured he had nothing to lose so he ventured forth with, “Ahhh … mmmm how would you like to stop at this motel?”
“Sure, that would be nice,” she said in anticipation.
The gentleman couldn’t believe his ears, and did a fast u-turn right then and there, and drove back to the motel and checked in.
The next morning, after a wild and passionate night of the most incredible love making imaginable, the gentleman awoke first. He looked at the lovely Dixie darling lying there in the bed and with remorse thought, “What the hell have I done?
He shook her awake and pleaded, “I’ve got to ask you one thing, what ever are you going to tell your Sunday School class?”
The lady said, “The same thing I always tell them, You don’t have to smoke and drink to have a good time!
Did You Know: The Original Six Steps AA History
In the early days of AA the fellowship operated under a loose set of spiritual principles borrowing heavily from the ideas of The Oxford Group. There was no single way of “doing AA.” Some people favored a plan focused on living “One Day at a Time” others were focused on prayer and “quiet time.” As the steps evolved there were various versions used at different times and in different places, with numerous examples found in AA’s literature and archives. For example, the July 1953 Grapevine article had an article entitled A Fragment of History: Origin of the Twelve Steps in which Bill W. describes the six steps this way:
During the next three years after Dr Bob’s recovery our growing groups at Akron, New York and Cleveland evolved the so-called word-of-mouth program of our pioneering time. As we commenced to form a society separate from the Oxford Group, we began to state our principles something like this:
1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol.
2. We got honest with ourselves.
3. We got honest with another person, in confidence.
4. We made amends for harms done others.
5. We worked with other alcoholics without demand for prestige or money.
6. We prayed to God to help us to do these things as best we could.
Though these principles were advocated according to the whim or liking of each of us, and though in Akron and Cleveland they still stuck by the Oxford Group absolutes of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, this was the gist of our message to incoming alcoholics up to 1939, when our present Twelve Steps were put to paper.