Chris R. – AA Speaker – “Sponsorship, Meeting Etiquette, and More”
Every time you get up and slip by the podium, the speaker stops what he is saying and loses his train of thought a little bit. We don’t have enough time for that nonsense. You don’t want to be there? Go away. You don’t have the respect to show up on time? Come on guys. I know that we are going to be late sometimes. I understand that, but be respectful about it. You do not have to make a huge commotion and take your assigned the seat and disturb everybody because you couldn’t get your rear in gear and come to a meeting on time. If you are there, you should be there listening, it is about respect and meeting etiquette. I want everybody to contribute. The guys that I sponsor, I let them know I’m going to do in the same way they did it to me 23 years ago. I say, “You’re going to get a job in Alcoholics Anonymous.” If you’re sitting in this room right now and you don’t have a job, and a lot of you don’t, I guarantee you, but that’s OK. Let’s go get you one and you can find something that you’re good at.
This program doesn’t require you to sponsor tons of people, but you can go make coffee, go do the artwork for a roundup, get on a committee for a conference. You’re going to do something to give back to this program. I mean, I’m going to say this, and we’re going to talk about it before this is over. I feel a real sense of responsibility. To those original folks, the people in here that have been sober a long time. All I can say is thank you for staying. I owe you the same the same dedication that you gave to this program. I’m going to continue to do the same thing. Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob cannot imagine how many people died putting this thing together before we got the Big Book in in 1939. Between 1935 and 1939 how many hundreds of alcoholics died?
You can’t not help but feel that responsibility on your shoulders now that we have a clear program. That’s how you’ll start feeling when you get in the middle of the program. You will start to be a part of this fellowship and you’ll see that anonymity is the spiritual foundation for this thing. It means that if you’re a big shot, you don’t come in here and try to use your big shot-ism to get anywhere in this program. I am not a big shot, you are not a big shot, I’m just a drunk like everybody else. Don’t ever try to make me something that I’m not. That’s a bad place, to put speakers on a pedestal. Sponsors should not be on a pedestal either, because we’re all bozos. You’ll know you’re having a spiritual experience when you walk into a room and realize that you’re not better than anybody in there, and you’re not worse than anybody in there, and you want to cry because you always felt better than or worse than. That’s the spiritual experience right there guys, anonymity.
The problem that we’re having today is that some of you cats in this room are so anonymous you’re useless. We should not be anonymous from each other, and this is why some of you guys do not feel connected because you are so darn anonymous. I got a circle and triangle on my bicycle, one on the back of my pickup truck, because I want people to know that I’m in the program. I can’t tell you how many times I walked at a Wal-Mart and walked out and someone was standing by my truck. Usually there’s somebody in the program coming back from a relapse. They saw the circle triangle wanted to talk to somebody. I’m in the greatest program and the greatest fellowship that ever existed on the face of the earth and I am there to help.