From the BlogMeet Ron

MOMENTS OF CLARITY

CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION

CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION

   Born in the 1930s and early 40s, we exist as a very special age group. We are the Silent Generation.

We are the smallest number of children born since the early 1900s.  We are the “last ones.”

We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.

We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.

We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.

We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available.

We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.

We are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War.

We saw the ‘boys’ home from the war, build their little houses.

We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio.

As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood “playing outside”.

We did play outside, and we did play on our own.

There was no little league.

There was no city playground for kids.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies, gave us newsreels of the war sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party Lines) and hung on the wall.

Computers were called calculators, they only added and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

The ‘internet’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that did not exist

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on our table radio in the evening by Gabriel Heatter.

We are the last group who had to find out for ourselves.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.

VA loans fanned a housing boom.

Pent up demand coupled with new installmentpayment plans put factories to work.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility.

The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands of stations.

Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.

We weren’t neglected, but we weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus.

They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on.

They were busy discovering the post war world.

We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed.

We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future.

Depression poverty was deep rooted.

Polio was still a crippler.

The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.

Russia built the “Iron Curtain” and China became Red China.

Eisenhower sent the first ‘advisers’ to Vietnam.

Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.

We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland.

We came of age in the 40s and 50s.  The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, “global warming”, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.

Only our generation can remember both a time of Great War, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We have lived through both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time whenthe world was getting better, not worse.
We are the Silent Generation – “The Last Ones”

More than 99 % of us are either retired or deceased, and we feel privileged to have “lived in the best of times”!

On Cultivating Tolerance  Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, p. 279

On Cultivating Tolerance 
Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, p. 279
 
“During nine years in AA I have observed that those who follow the Alcoholics Anonymous program with the greatest earnestness and zeal, not only maintain sobriety, but often acquire finer characteristics and attitudes as well. One of these is tolerance. Tolerance expresses itself in a variety of ways: in kindness and consideration toward the man or woman who is just beginning the march along the spiritual path; in the understanding of those who perhaps have been less fortunate in educational advantages, and in sympathy toward those whose religious ideas may seem to be at great variance with our own. I am reminded in this connection of the picture of a hub with its radiating spokes. We all start at the outer circumference and approach our destination by one of many routes.
 
To say that one spoke is much better than all the other spokes is true only in the sense of its being best suited to you as an individual. Human nature is such that without some degree of tolerance, each one of us might be inclined to believe that we have found the best or perhaps the shortest spoke. Without some tolerance we might tend to become a bit smug or superior — which of course is not helpful to the person we are trying to help, and may be quite painful or obnoxious to others. No one of us wishes to do anything which might act as a deterrent to the advancement of another — and a patronizing attitude can readily slow up this process.
 
Tolerance furnishes, as a by-product, a greater freedom from the tendency to cling to preconceived ideas and stubbornly adhered-to opinions. In other words it often promotes an open-mindedness which is vastly important — in fact a prerequisite to the successful termination of any line of search, whether it be scientific or spiritual.
 
These, then, are a few of the reasons why an attempt to acquire tolerance should be made by each one of us.” 
 
From the Editorial column of the July 1944 issue of The Grapevine, written by Dr. Bob of Akron.
 


Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
iamronrichey@gmail.com
www.melloron.com

AA Twelve Days of Christmas  by Jennifer T.

AA Twelve Days of Christmas
by Jennifer T


On the first day of Christmas, AA gave to me, a message of sobriety.
On the second day of Christmas, AA gave to me a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the third day of Christmas, AA gave to me a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the fourth day of Christmas, AA gave to me an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the fifth day of Christmas, AA gave to me removal of my character dings, an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the sixth day of Christmas, AA gave to me a new way of praying, removal of my character dings, an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the seventh day of Christmas, AA gave to me seven semblant sponsors, a new way of praying, removal of my character dings, an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the eighth day of Christmas, AA gave to me eight amends I’m making, seven semblant sponsors, a new way of praying, removal of my character dings, an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the ninth day of Christmas, AA gave to me nine ladies numbers, eight amends I’m making, seven semblant sponsors, a new way of praying, removal of my character dings, an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the tenth day of Christmas, AA gave to me ten acts to inventory, nine ladies numbers, eight amends I’m making, seven semblant sponsors, a new way of praying, removal of my character dings, an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, AA gave to me eleven pious promises, ten acts to inventory, nine ladies numbers, eight amends I’m making, seven semblant sponsors, a new way of praying, removal of my character dings, an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, AA gave to me twelve works of service, eleven pious promises, ten acts to inventory, nine ladies numbers, eight amends I’m making, seven semblant sponsors, a new way of praying, removal of my character dings, an inventory of my sins, a fellowship of encouraging words, a Great God of Love, and a message of sobriety
Thanks 

I Stand by the Door  By Sam Shoemaker (from the Oxford Group)

I Stand by the Door 
By Sam Shoemaker (from the Oxford Group)
 
I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out.
The door is the most important door in the world –
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There is no use my going way inside and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where the door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.
 
The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door – the door to God.
The most important thing that any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands
And put it on the latch – the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man’s own touch.
Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live on the other side of it – live because they have not found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him.
So I stand by the door.
 
Go in great saints; go all the way in –
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics.
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in.
Sometimes venture in a little farther,
But my place seems closer to the opening.
So I stand by the door.
 
There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia
And want to get out. ‘Let me out!’ they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.
For the old life, they have seen too much:
One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving – preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door
But would like to run away. So for them too,
I stand by the door.
 
I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door.
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too.
Where? Outside the door –
Thousands of them. Millions of them.
But – more important for me –
One of them, two of them, ten of them.
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
 
‘I had rather be a door-keeper
So I stand by the door.

Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

IN REMEMBRANCE OF “EBBY”

IN REMEMBRANCE OF “EBBY”
By Bill Wilson AA Grapevine June 1966 
 
In his seventieth year, and on the twenty-first of March, my friend and sponsor “Ebby” passed beyond our sight and hearing.
 
On a chill November afternoon in 1934 it was Ebby who had brought me the message that saved my life. Still more importantly, he was the bearer of the Grace and of the principles that shortly afterward led to my spiritual awakening. This was truly a call to new life in the Spirit. It was the kind of rebirth that has since become the most precious possession of each and all of us.
 
As I looked upon him where he lay in perfect repose, I was stirred by poignant memories of all the years I had known and loved him.
 
There were recollections of those joyous days in a Vermont boarding school. After the war years we were sometimes together, then drinking of course. Alcohol, we thought, was the solvent for all difficulties, a veritable elixir for good living.
 
Then there was that absurd episode of 1929. Ebby and I were on an all-night spree in Albany. Suddenly we remembered that a new airfield had been constructed in Vermont, on a pasture near my own home town. The opening day was close at hand. Then came the intoxicating thought: If only we could hire a plane we’d beat the opening by several days, thus making aviation history ourselves! Forthwith, Ebby routed a pilot friend out of bed, and for a stiff price we engaged him and his small craft. We sent the town fathers a wire announcing the time of our arrival. In midmorning, we took to the air, greatly elated — and very tight.
 
Somehow our rather tipsy pilot set us down on the field. A large crowd, including the village band and a welcoming committee, lustily cheered his feat. The pilot then deplaned. But nothing else happened, nothing at all. The onlookers stood in puzzled silence. Where were Ebby and Bill? Then the horrible discovery was made — we were both slumped in the rear cockpit of the plane, completely passed out! Kind friends lifted us down and stood us upon the ground. Whereupon we history-makers fell flat on our faces. Ignominiously, we had to be carted away. The fiasco could not have been more appalling. We spent the next day shakily writing apologies.
 
Over the following five years, I seldom saw Ebby. But of course our drinking went on and on. In late 1934 I got a terrific jolt when I learned that Ebby was about to be locked up, this time in a state mental hospital.
 
Following a series of mad sprees, he had run his father’s new Packard off the road and into the side of a dwelling, smashing right into its kitchen, and just missing a terrified housewife. Thinking to ease this rather awkward situation, Ebby summoned his brightest smile and said, “Well, my dear, how about a cup of coffee?”
 
Of course Ebby’s lighthearted humor was quite lost on everyone concerned. Their patience worn thin, the town fathers yanked him into court. To all appearances, Ebby’s final destination was the insane asylum. To me, this marked the end of the line for us both. Only a short time before, my physician, Dr. Silkworth, had felt obliged to tell Lois there was no hope of my recovery; that I, too would have to be confined, else risk insanity or death.
 
But Providence would have it otherwise. It was presently learned that Ebby had been paroled into the custody of friends who (for the time being) had achieved their sobriety in the Oxford Groups. They brought Ebby to New York where he fell under the benign influence of AA’s great friend-to-be, Dr. Sam Shoemaker, the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church. Much affected by Sam and the “O.G.” Ebby promptly sobered up. Hearing of my serious condition, he had straight-way come to our house in Brooklyn.
 
As I continued to recollect, the vision of Ebby looking at me across our kitchen table became wonderfully vivid. As most AAs know, he spoke to me of the release from hopelessness that had come to him (through the Oxford Groups) as the result of self-survey, restitution, outgoing helpfulness to others, and prayer. In short, he was proposing the attitudes and principles that I used later in developing AA’s Twelve Steps to recovery.
 
It had happened. One alcoholic had effectively carried the message to another. Ebby had been enabled to bring me the gift of Grace because he could reach me at depth through the language of the heart. He had pushed ajar that great gate through which all in AA have since passed to find their freedom under God.
 
Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
iamronrichey@gmail.com

12 Ways To Accept 

12 Ways To Accept 

1. ACCEPT, that I am a sick person, and need help and that help can be found by attending meetings, reading literature and by practicing the program at all times.
2. ACCEPT, that I am powerless over anyone, but that I do have the power to change myself.
3. ACCEPT, that I am not responsible for everyone’s actions, but I am responsible to myself.
4. ACCEPT, God or a Higher Power back into my life. To LET GO AND LET GOD, and to learn to have patience by not taking things back too quickly and trying to manage or play God myself.
5. ACCEPT, that I am a good person and it is OK to be good to myself. Don’t be afraid to be happy and enjoy what is beautiful. Always remember, I’m OK, GOD DOESN’T MAKE JUNK.
6. ACCEPT, tolerance with others and especially myself, having faith that I can grow in our program and become a whole person again.
7. ACCEPT, things I do not like, realizing that all things do not have good to be acceptable. By having to let someone we love suffer for their own mistakes, or actions, by detaching with love.
8. ACCEPT, that I do not have to be right all the time and that it is OK to be wrong or make mistake, our mistakes can be a learning experience.
9. ACCEPT, that it is OK to say I’m wrong and ask forgiveness when I hurt or wrong someone.
10. ACCEPT, that I must be open-minded enough to listen thoughtfully to the opinions of others.
11. ACCEPT, that each day is a new beginning and that it is within my power to make that day as good and happy as I want it to be.
12. ACCEPT, that I have no control over the PAST. That TOMORROW is beyond our immediate control for it is yet unborn. This leaves only TODAY. Let us therefore live but ONE DAY AT A TIME!
Thank You Chuck D.

DEC.16,2017 OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS

DEC.16,2017 OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS
DAILY
 
AN INDIVIDUAL ADVENTURE 
Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way. 
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 101 
My spiritual growth is with God as I understand Him. With Him I find my true inner self. Daily meditation and prayer strengthen and renew my source of well-being. I receive then the openness to accept all that He has to offer. With God I have the reassurance that my journey will be as He wants for me, and for that I am grateful to have God in my life. 
Copyright 1990 
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORLD SERVICES, INC.
======================================
Vernon Howard’s SECRETS OF LIFE 
 
“Truth is the only castle of safety for the frightened fugitive.”
Cosmic Command, # 208
===================================
DAILY REFLECTIONS DEC.16,2017
 
PARTNERS IN RECOVERY
. . . nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. . . .
Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. . . . Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 89, 100
Doing the right things for the right reasons — this is my way of controlling my selfishness and self-centeredness. I realize that my dependency on a Higher Power clears the way for peace of mind, happiness and sobriety. I pray each day that I will avoid my previous actions, so that I will be helpful to others.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
==============================
As you discover your daily good,
and believe in it, and think about it,
expect it to continue.
– Ernest Holmes
 
 
My Sponsor said if you want miracles,
the fellowship is here to offer you one, one of many.
All you have to do is to read the Big Book and
A new glow will arise in your heart.
Anonymous
 
 
 
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.”
– John Wooden
 
 
 
Whenever you are alone, remind yourself
that God has sent everyone else away so that there is only you and Him.
RUMI
 
 
A COURSE IN MIRACLES INSIGHTS
ACIM Workbook Lesson 345 Insights
“I offer only miracles today,
For I would have them be returned to me.”
Holy Spirit, I open my mind to You today to receive a healing correction in my perception. My body’s eyes deceive me. They show me the opposite of the truth. I need Your correction to my perception that I might have my thoughts transformed.
 
You give me the miracle of truth. You remind me that separation could never be real. You help me see beyond illusions to the eternal truth of Love. You help me rise above the battleground. You help me see the battle as merely a false story, a story that comes from belief in separation. You help me see past the story to the truth of our oneness in Love.
 
Holy Spirit, I would receive these miracles today. I would receive Your peace that I may extend Your peace. I would receive Your Love that I may extend Your Love. What I receive I would give.
 
Today my practice is to open to Your healing perceptions so that I may give the miracles I receive.
 
The miracle is the effect of true forgiveness. With true forgiveness, I no longer see my brother as separate and different from me. I see instead the Love that is the One Self we share. With true forgiveness I see the innocence, the face of Christ in my brother.
 
Since everything I see in this world is a projection from my mind, when I see innocence in my brother, I am recognizing it in myself. I receive the gift of Christ vision, reflected back to me.
 
Today I would not let little irritations and disturbances linger in my mind. I would take them quickly to my inner Teacher, Who will help me see past the meaningless form that I have misperceived and see instead the wholeness and holiness that is the extension of my Self.
 
I dedicate this day to being vigilant for peace and taking all interferences to the Holy Spirit to be shined away. I will open my mind to the Holy Spirit’s Light and thus will I be able to offer miracles and have those miracles returned to me.
 
This lesson offers peace to all seeking hearts and today I accept that peace. I accept the Light that has come to lead me back to my Father. I ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit to show me which miracles to give today and I am open to experience the miracles in the form which I need, which is possibly in a form I least expect.
 
Holy Spirit, I offer You my willingness today to be guided by You, so that I might rest and in that rest I will experience my Father’s gifts to me. Amen
© 2003, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, 
provided this copyright notice and website address are included.
=================================
Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world…..
Paramahansa Yogananda
============================
Renunciation
 
Leaving his kingdom and loved ones behind, Siddhartha became a wandering monk. He cut off his hair to show that he had renounced the worldly lifestyle and called himself Gautama. He wore ragged robes and wandered from place to place. In his search for truth, he studied with the wisest teachers of his day. None of them knew how to end suffering, so he continued the search on his own.
 
For six years he practiced severe asceticism thinking this would lead him to enlightenment. He sat in meditation and ate only roots, leaves and fruit. At times he ate nothing. He could endure more hardships than anyone else, but this did not take him anywhere. He thought, “Neither my life of luxury in the palace nor my life as an ascetic in the forest is the way to freedom. Overdoing things can not lead to happiness. ” He began to eat nourishing food again and regained his strength.
======================
— 
Sincerely,
Ron Richey
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
 
Virus-free. www.avg.com

TRADITIONS CHECKLIST

TRADITIONS CHECKLIST

These questions were originally published in the AA Grapevine in conjunction with a series on the Twelve Traditions that began in November 1969 and ran through September 1971.

Tradition One
Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
Am I in my group a healing, mending, integrating person, or am I divisive? What about gossip and taking other member’s inventories?
Am I a peacemaker? Or do I, with pious preludes such as “just for the sake of discussion,” plunge into argument?
Am I gentle with those who rub me the wrong way, or am I abrasive?
Do I make competitive AA remarks, such as comparing one group with another or contrasting AA in one place with AA in another?
Do I put down some AA activities as if I were superior for not participating in this or that aspect of AA?
Am I informed about AA as a whole? Do I support, in every way I can, AA as a whole, or just the parts I understand and approve of?
Am I as considerate of AA members as I want them to be of me?
Do I spout platitudes about love while indulging in and secretly justifying behavior that bristles with hostility?
Do I go to enough AA meetings or read enough AA literature to really keep in touch?
Do I share with AA all of me, the bad and the good, accepting as well as giving the help of the fellowship?

Tradition Two
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.
Do I criticize or do I trust and support my group officers, AA committees, and office workers? Newcomers? Old-timers?
Am I absolutely trustworthy, even in secret, with AA Twelfth Step jobs or other AA responsibility?
Do I look for credit in my AA jobs? Praise for my AA ideas?
Do I have to save face in group discussion, or can I yield in good spirit to the group conscience and work cheerfully along with it?
Although I have been sober a few years, am I willing to serve my turn at AA chores?
In group discussions, do I sound off about matters on which I have no experience and little knowledge?

Tradition Three
The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
In my mind, do I prejudge some new AA members as losers?
Is there some kind of alcoholic whom I privately do not want in my AA group?
Do I set myself up as a judge of whether a newcomer is sincere or phony?
Do I let language, religion (or lack of it), race, education, age, or other such things interfere with my carrying the message?
Am I over impressed by a celebrity? By a doctor, a clergyman, and ex-convict? Or can I just treat this new member simply and naturally as one more sick human, like the rest of us?
When someone turns up at AA needing information or help (even if he can’t ask for it aloud), does it really matter to me what he does for a living? Where he lives? What his domestic arrangements are? Whether he had been to AA before? What his other problems are?

Tradition Four

Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.

Do I insist that there are only a few right ways of doing things in AA?

Does my group always consider the welfare of the rest of AA? Of nearby groups? Of loners in Alaska? Of internationalists miles from port? Of a group in Rome or El Salvador?

Do I put down other members’ behavior when it is different from mine, or do I learn from it?

Do I always bear in mind that, to those outsiders who know I am in AA, I may to some extent represent our entire beloved Fellowship?

Am I willing to help a newcomer go to any lengths – his lengths, not mine – to stay sober?

Do I share my knowledge of AA tools with other members who may not have heard of them?

Tradition Five

Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Do I ever cop out by saying, “I’m not a group, so this or that Tradition doesn’t apply to me”?

Am I willing to explain firmly to a newcomer the limitations of AA help, even if he gets mad at me for not giving him a loan?

Have I today imposed on any AA member for a special favor or consideration simply because I am a fellow alcoholic?

Am I willing to twelfth-step the next newcomer without regard to who or what is in it for me?

Do I help my group in every way I can to fulfill our primary purpose?

Do I remember that AA old-timers, too, can be alcoholics who still suffer? Do I try both to help them and to learn from them?

Tradition Six

An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

Should my fellow group members and I go out and raise money to endow several AA beds in our local hospital?

Is it good for a group to lease a small building?

Are all the officers and members of our local club for AAs familiar with “Guidelines on Clubs” (which is available free from GSO)?

Should the secretary of our group serve on the mayor’s advisory committee on alcoholism?

Some alcoholics will stay around AA only if we have a TV and card room. If this is what is required to carry the message to them, should we have these facilities?

Tradition Seven

Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

Honestly now, do I do all I can to help AA (my group, my central office, my GSO) remain self-supporting? Could I put a little more into the basket on behalf of the new guy who can’t afford it yet? How generous was I when tanked in a barroom?

Should the Grapevine sell advertising space to book publishers and drug companies, so it could make a big profit and become a bigger magazine, in full color, at a cheaper price per copy?

If GSO runs short of funds some year, wouldn’t it be okay to let the government subsidize AA groups in hospitals and prisons?

Is it more important to get a big AA collection from a few people, or a smaller collection in which more members participate?

Is a group treasurer’s report unimportant AA business? How does the treasurer feel about it?

How important in my recovery is the feeling of self-respect, rather than the feeling of being always under obligation for charity received?

Tradition Eight

Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

Is my own behavior accurately described by the Traditions? If not, what needs changing?

When I chafe about any particular Tradition, do I realize how it affects others?

Do I sometimes try to get some reward – even if not money – for my personal AA efforts?

Do I try to sound in AA like an expert on alcoholism? On recovery? On medicine? On sociology? On AA itself? On psychology? On spiritual matters? Or, heaven help me, even on humility?

Do I make an effort to understand what AA employees do? What workers in other alcoholism agencies do? Can I distinguish clearly among them?

In my own AA life, have I any experiences which illustrate the wisdom of this Tradition.

Have I paid enough attention to the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions? To the pamphlet AA Tradition – How It Developed?

Tradition Nine

AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

Do I still try to boss things in AA?

Do I resist formal aspects of AA because I fear them as authoritative?

Am I mature enough to understand and use all elements of the AA program – even if no one makes me do so – with a sense of personal responsibility?

Do I exercise patience and humility in any AA job I take?

Am I aware of all those to whom I am responsible in any AA job?

Why doesn’t every AA group need a constitution and bylaws?

Have I learned to step out of an AA job gracefully – and profit thereby – when the time comes?

What has rotation to do with anonymity? With humility?

Tradition Ten

Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

Do I ever give the impression that there really is an “AA opinion” on Antabuse? Tranquilizers? Doctors? Psychiatrists? Churches? Hospitals? Jails? Alcohol? The federal government? Legalizing marijuana? Vitamins? Al-Anon? Alateen?

Can I honestly share my own personal experience concerning any of those without giving the impression I am stating the “AA opinion”?

What in AA history gave rise to our Tenth Tradition?

Have I had a similar experience in my own AA life?

What would AA be without this Tradition? Where would I be?

Do I breach this or any of its supporting Traditions in subtle, perhaps unconscious, ways?

How can I manifest the spirit of this Tradition in my personal life outside AA? Inside AA?

Tradition Eleven

Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

Do I sometimes promote AA so fanatically that I make it seem unattractive?

Am I always careful to keep the confidences reposed in me as an AA member?

Am I careful about throwing AA names around – even within the Fellowship?

Am I ashamed of being a recovered, or recovering, alcoholic?

What would AA be like if we were not guided by the ideas in Tradition Eleven? Where would I be?

Is my sobriety attractive enough that a sick drunk would want such a quality for himself?

Tradition Twelve

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Why is it a good idea for me to place the common welfare of all AA members before individual welfare? What would happen to me if AA as a whole disappeared?

When I do not trust AA’s current servants, who do I wish had the authority to straighten them out?

In my opinions of and remarks about other AAs, am I implying membership requirements other than a desire to stay sober?

Do I ever try to get a certain AA group to conform to my standards, not its own?

Have I a personal responsibility in helping an AA group fulfill its primary purpose? What is my part?

Does my personal behavior reflect the Sixth Tradition – or belie it?

Do I do all I can to support AA financially? When is the last time I anonymously gave away a Grapevine subscription?

Do I complain about certain AAs’ behavior – especially if they are paid to work for AA? Who made me so smart?

Do I fulfill all AA responsibilities in such a way as to please privately even my own conscience? Really?

Do my utterances always reflect the Tenth Tradition, or do I give AA critics real ammunition?

Should I keep my AA membership a secret, or reveal it in private conversation when that may help another alcoholic (and therefore me)? Is my brand of AA so attractive that other drunks want it?

What is the real importance of me among more than a million AAs?
Thank You Chuck D.

DEC.6,2017 OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS

DEC.6,2017 OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS

DAILY

 

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information,
which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail
to keep a man in everlasting ignorance ,
that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition
Appendice II, Spiritual Experience, pg. 568

======================================

Vernon Howard’s SECRETS OF LIFE 

 

“Do not run mental movies through your mind in the way you want a future event to happen. It will happen the way it must happen, regardless of your imagined wish. If you simply let it happen, whether or not it coincides with your desires, you will not be disappointed. But if you
insist that the outcome must match your mental movie, frustration is
certain.
   Whatever happens is the right thing to happen. Does this challenge your present ideas? Well, good. Drop all mental movies. Leave the screen blank. Reality can then project its own love scene.”
The Power of your Supermind, Chap. 10, p. 129

===================================

Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
Alcoholics Anonymous® reprinted with permission

Third Step Prayer
-The Third Step Prayer is from page 63, The Big Book:
“God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!”
 
Seventh Step Prayer
-The Seventh Step Prayer is from page 76. The Big Book
“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”
 
MORNING PRAYER
God, direct my thinking today so that it be empty of self pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking and fear. God, inspire my thinking, decisions and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God, show me what I need to do to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow man. In the spirit of the Steps I pray. AMEN
 
NIGHT PRAYER
God, forgive me where I have been resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid today. Help me to not keep anything to myself but to discuss it all openly with another person – show me where I owe an apology and help me make it. Help me to be kind and loving to all people. Use me in the mainstream of life, God. Free me of worry, remorse or morbid (sick) reflections that I may be of usefulness to others. AMEN

St Francis Prayer
-From Chapter 11 of “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions”
“Lord, make me a channel of they peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.”
St. Francis Assisi (1182-1228).
 Alcoholics Anonymous®, AA®, and The Big Book®
are registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 
The Grapevine® and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of 
The AA Grapevine, Inc.
===============================
Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
“It has taken humanity thousands of years to
learn that it has the power to control its own destiny.”
– Ernest Holmes

For for a long time people looked at me strangely
and then someone said there’s something different
about you what is it, and I said,
I’ve got a new manager,God.
Anonymous

” Beloved, dear friend, I pray🙏
that you may prosper in good health,
even as your soul prospers.”🌻
3 John.1:2

It’s your road, and yours alone, 

others may walk it with you,
but no one can walk it for you.

Rumi

A COURSE IN MIRACLES INSIGHTS

ACIM Workbook Lesson 345 Insights
“I offer only miracles today,
For I would have them be returned to me.”
Holy Spirit, I open my mind to You today to receive a healing correction in my perception. My body’s eyes deceive me. They show me the opposite of the truth. I need Your correction to my perception that I might have my thoughts transformed.
  You give me the miracle of truth. You remind me that separation could never be real. You help me see beyond illusions to the eternal truth of Love. You help me rise above the battleground. You help me see the battle as merely a false story, a story that comes from belief in separation. You help me see past the story to the truth of our oneness in Love.
 
Holy Spirit, I would receive these miracles today. I would receive Your peace that I may extend Your peace. I would receive Your Love that I may extend Your Love. What I receive I would give.
 
Today my practice is to open to Your healing perceptions so that I may give the miracles I receive.
 
The miracle is the effect of true forgiveness. With true forgiveness, I no longer see my brother as separate and different from me. I see instead the Love that is the One Self we share. With true forgiveness I see the innocence, the face of Christ in my brother.
 
Since everything I see in this world is a projection from my mind, when I see innocence in my brother, I am recognizing it in myself. I receive the gift of Christ vision, reflected back to me.
 
Today I would not let little irritations and disturbances linger in my mind. I would take them quickly to my inner Teacher, Who will help me see past the meaningless form that I have misperceived and see instead the wholeness and holiness that is the extension of my Self.
 
I dedicate this day to being vigilant for peace and taking all interferences to the Holy Spirit to be shined away. I will open my mind to the Holy Spirit’s Light and thus will I be able to offer miracles and have those miracles returned to me.
 
This lesson offers peace to all seeking hearts and today I accept that peace. I accept the Light that has come to lead me back to my Father. I ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit to show me which miracles to give today and I am open to experience the miracles in the form which I need, which is possibly in a form I least expect.
 
Holy Spirit, I offer You my willingness today to be guided by You, so that I might rest and in that rest I will experience my Father’s gifts to me. Amen

© 2003, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org

You may freely share copies of this with your friends, 

provided this copyright notice and website address are included.

=================================

The wisdom and spiritual understanding by
mutual effort can bind two souls by the
laws of everlasting divine love.

Paramahansa Yogananda

============================

Sincerely,

Ron Richey

808-734-5732

545 Queen St. # 701

Honolulu, Hi 96813

iamronrichey@gmail.com

www.melloron.com

Some of the characteristics of the person who has achieved true adulthood are suggested here:

1. He accepts criticism gratefully, being honestly glad for an opportunity to improve.

2. He does not indulge in self-pity. He has begun to feel the laws of compensation operating in all life.

3. He does not expect special consideration from anyone.

4. He controls his temper.

5. He meets emergencies with poise.

6. His feelings are not easily hurt.

7. He accepts the responsibility of his own actions without trying to “alibi.”

8. He has outgrown the “all or nothing” stage. He recognizes that no person or situation is wholly good or wholly bad, and he begins to appreciate the Golden Mean.

9. He is not impatient at reasonable delays. He has learned that he is not the arbiter of the universe and that he must often adjust himself to other people and their convenience.

10. He is a good loser. He can endure defeat and disappointment without whining or complaining.

11. He does not worry about things he cannot help.

12. He is not given to boasting or “showing off” in socially unacceptable ways.

13. He is honestly glad when others enjoy success or good fortune. He has outgrown envy and jealousy.

14. He is open-minded enough to listen thoughtfully to the opinions of others.

15. He is not a chronic “fault-finder.”

16. He plans things in advance rather than trusting to the inspiration of the moment.

 

Last of all, we think in terms of spiritual maturity:

 

1. He has faith in a Power greater then himself.

2. He feels himself an organic part of mankind as a whole, contributing his part to each group of which he is a member.

3. He obeys the spiritual essence of the Golden Rule: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Emotional sobriety is when: 

1. I am free of resentments, jealousy, and envy–and free to forgive quickly.

2. My emotions are not so violent that they cause me to go or be on a dry drunk.

3. I am able to make normal everyday decisions without my vision being unduly influenced by my emotions. 

4. I am able to identify & live by my personal values without compromise to emotional pressure. 

5. I am able to enjoy life as spiritual principles would dictate–such as being properly revolted by ugliness, sin and suffering, and positively rewarded by happenings of love, beauty and principle. 

6. I am happy when others do things better or quicker than I have done them.

7. My emotions are in sync with my intellect and both are in synch with God’s Will.

8. I can live freely without being emotionally subservient to another human being.

9. I can move freely between the emotional states of child, adult and parent.

10. I derive genuine, healthy pleasure from helping others without thought of reward, money, prestige or station.

Thank You Chuck D.


Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
iamronrichey@gmail.com
www.melloron.com

The Train of Life

The Train of Life

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone.
As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of your life.
Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.
Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves. The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, thank God for the journey.
Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train.
Author Unknown  Chuck D.

Happy Sober Thanksgiving from Shenyang; China everyone.

Happy Sober Thanksgiving from Shenyang; China everyone.

37 years ago today; it had snowed 7 inches in Western Kentucky, USA, the cold wind blew across and off the Ohio River from the Southern Illinois plains. 

This Alkie was one “sick puppy”. 

I was less than 30 days Sober for the second time in AA; alone; scared; defeated; broke; wet; cold and hopeless.

Sitting in the Farmer’s Market Cafeteria in Paducah, Kentucky USA eating a $3.50 Thanksgiving tray lunch; I felt so lucky to have enough money to pay for the lunch.

 I was 34 years old. My life was over. 

I was a full-blown Alkie; washed up professional; derelict husband; run-away father of two boys; hiding out from creditors all alone in strange city; trying to stay off “the juice” one minute at a time and “shake it out” another 24 hours…. until 7 PM when the AA hall opened up with free hot coffee; stale donuts and a bummed cigarettes. 

That was Thanksgiving Day 1981; the loneliest day of my life.

I hope I never forget the way I felt on that Thanksgiving Day. I couldn’t get drunk and I couldn’t get Sober…… I was at the “jumping off place”.

I didn’t drink that day..I didn’t jump off the bridge into the cold; black Ohio River….instead I walked in the wet; snowy slush and prayed for God’s help and forgiveness. 

Somehow; I made it to 4th and Elizabeth Street in Paducah that Thanksgiving night around 6:30 PM and got those bummed cigarettes; coffee and stale donuts…..but I also was given HOPE by Guys and Gals like you…..who came out on Thanksgiving night to help a lost man; 34 years old whose life had been destroyed by “booze”. 

Most holidays I spend with old drunks like me. We talk about AA and the miracle that God performed on people like me; through drunks like you. 

We talk about God’s love and providence…… God supplies all our needs today.

My Thanksgiving prayer goes something like today:

Thank You God for AA. Thank You God for that first Sober $3.50 Thanksgiving Dinner at the Farmer’s Market so many years ago.  

Thank You God for who ever it was that night at the AA Hall; in Paducah, Kentucky, USA who opened up; made coffee; put out the donuts and shared a cigarette with this down-trodden; lonely drunk.

Thank You God for AA’s around the world who care and have cared so much for me and other AA Loners over the years.

Thank You God for the AA 12 Steps and the “Gift of Sobriety”.

Thank you God for the “Forgiveness of my sins and my continued shortcomings”.

Thank You God for Step 9 and the gift of restitution.

Thank You God that others have forgiven me because I have stayed Sober and lived the 12 Steps as best I can. 

Thank You God that I have been forgiven of my past by most people I harmed. 

God for those who could not forgive me… I ask You to bless them today.

I am not perfect Lord… But I do love You God and I love Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Bless AA. Bless all those who are lonely today….. Keep them from suicide like you kept me so many years ago….on that lonely Thanksgiving Day so long ago.

Thank You God for my Sobriety.

Rod M. AA Loner Sponsor in Shenyang; Liaoning, P.R. Of China

 

Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
iamronrichey@gmail.com
www.melloron.com


The 12 Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous

The 12 Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous
To understand the concepts of AA you have to dig deep or attend a workshop/step speaker series on these important components of the program.

A lot of groups don’t teach the concepts and a number of Alcoholics Anonymous members are not familiar with them. It is best to have some sobriety under your belt before you attempt to familiarize yourself and study the concepts because they are complex.

Here, then are the 12 Concepts of AA as referenced on Page 574 of Alcoholics Anonymous’ textbook, also known as “The Big Book”:

Concept 1 – Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our fellowship. 
This means that the fellowship is guided by rules and regulations that may not be changed by any authority other than the main headquarters’ trusted servants and that the proper channels have to be gone through for any changes to take place.

Concept 2 – The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole Society in world affairs. 

Concept 3 – To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A. – the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives – with a traditional “Right of Decision”. 

Concept 4 – At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional “Right of Participation”, allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge. This translates into meaning that every decision from whether to add a meeting to a schedule to changing the format of meetings has to be pre-approved through a business or group conscience meeting.

Concept 5 – Throughout our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration. This usually takes place at the business meeting which any member is welcome to attend.

Concept 6 – The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board. This board is the final authority that our fellowship turns to in all matters, controversial and not.

Concept 7 – The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness. 

Concept 8 – The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities. This would apply to secretary and treasurer positions among others.

Concept 9 – Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees. 

Concept 10 – Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined. 

Concept 11 – The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualification, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern. The definition of this concept is that our program takes seriously all responsible members of each committee and the duties they perform. 

Concept 12 – The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action. 

This means that we don’t have anyone “in charge” in AA; that we are all but trusted servants.

The principles of the 12 steps can be very difficult or very simple to understand.

The principles of the 12 steps can be very difficult or very simple to understand.
 
This is an effort to simplify the meaning of the principles of the 12 steps for those who may be having difficulty. These are the principles that are incorporated into our daily lives as ‘we walk the walk’. Employing each of these behaviors will help to rebuild a life of increased self esteem and self confidence. So, in my never ending quest to keep it simple, here are the action principles behind the twelve steps:
 
1. Honesty – The operative principle behind step 1 is honesty. If you cannot get honest about the scope of your problem, and honest about a sincere effort to resolve it you will not succeed. How about a definition of honesty as the absence of the intention to deceive? Who do we try to fool? Ourselves
 
2. Hope – In order to engage in a course of addiction recovery, we must have hope of success. If there is no hope, why try? Perhaps we have failed on our own, how about enlisting some help? A way to instill hope is to realize recovery is not a question of ability; after all there are millions in recovery, but rather persistence and application. 
 
3. Faith – This stage of action is to begin to employ the recovery skills being learned. You can seek out help, but it is also necessary to utilize it. Our job is to become willing to do the right thing. A simple way to view the ‘next right thing’ is don’t engage in your behavior. Have faith it will work.
 
4. Courage – This step is really about courage to honestly (see step 1) look at ourselves. Take a look at how our behavior has become warped to justify our continued behavior. We are here to take an honest assessment of ourselves.
 
5. Integrity – If we have truly done a thorough job of introspection and evaluation of our assets and shortcomings do we have the integrity to own up to it? It can be very difficult to be open and honest about our past behaviors. We accept the need for a dose of humility.
 
6. Willingness – Now that we have accomplished an inventory of the good and not, c  so good aspects of our character and behavior, are we willing to change them? All of them? The important part in this 12 step principle is the willingness to let go of old behaviors. 
 
7. Humility – Here we move further into action, in step 6 we became willing to as let go of our old behaviors, now we ask for help in actually letting go. Can we learn to forgive ourselves?
 
8. Discipline and Action – We are continuing to remove the barriers that can block forward sober growth. We are getting ready to sweep our side of the street clean. Make a list of all those people we have harmed both through actions and not being present to live up to obligations. 
 
9. Forgiveness – Asking for the forgiveness of those we have intentionally or unintentionally injured is the order of the day. A key point here is to try to correct those injuries through action, not just words. It is highly recommended that guidance and help is utilized here. Asking forgiveness is not a gift to the other person, but rather an act of kindness to you. 
 
10. Acceptance – To be human is to make mistakes. Hopefully our journey has led us to the point where we can readily admit mistakes and accept ourselves for being imperfect. We must also learn not to judge others but accept them for who they are, not our vision of who they should be.
 
11. Knowledge and Awareness – Here we search and become aware of following our path being aware of our purpose in life and actively pursuing it. I view this principle as just being aware, not being got up in the rush of life, making conscious effort to do the right thing and to be at peace.
 
12. Service and Gratitude – Having brought about a personality change sufficient to remain in recovery; we are empowered to demonstrate the new principles by which we live, in our daily life through example. We seek out and are available to help others in need.
 
There you have it. Simple actions you can practice each and every day to improve the quality of your life in addiction recovery and those people you come in contact with. These are the simple one word action principles of the 12 steps.
 


Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

iamronrichey@gmail.com
www.melloron.com

A Tribute to Dr. Bob

Robert H. ‘Dr. Bob’ Smith
August 8, 1879 — November 16, 1950
Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

A Tribute to Dr. Bob
by Bill W., A.A. Grapevine, January 1951

SERENELY remarking to his attendant, “I think this is it,” Dr. Bob passed out of our sight and hearing November sixteenth at noonday. So ended the consuming malady wherein he had so well shown us how high faith can rise over grievous distress. As he had lived, so he had died, supremely aware that in his Father’s House are many Mansions.

In all those he knew, memory was at floodtide. But who could really say what was thought and felt by the five thousand sick ones to whom he personally ministered and freely gave a physician’s care; who could possibly record the reflections of his townsmen who had seen him sink almost within the grasp of oblivion, then rise to anonymous world renown; who could express the gratitude of those tens of thousands of AA families who had so well heard of him but had never seen him face to face? What, too, were the emotions of those nearest him as they thankfully pondered the mystery of his regeneration fifteen years ago and all its vast consequence since? Not the smallest fraction of this great benefaction could be comprehended. He could only declare, “What indeed hath God wrought?”

Never would Dr. Bob have us think him saint or superman. Nor would he have us praise him or grieve his passing. He can almost be heard, saying, “Seems to me you folks are making heavy going. I’m not to be taken so seriously as all that. I was only a first link in that chain of Providential circumstance which is called AA. By Grace and great fortune my link did not break; though my faults and failures might often have brought on that unhappy result. I was just another alcoholic trying to get along–under the Grace of God. Forget me, but go you and do likewise. Securely add your own link to our chain. With God’s help, forge that chain well and truly.” In this manner would Dr. Bob estimate himself and counsel us.

It was a Saturday in May, 1935. An ill-starred business venture had brought me to Akron where it immediately collapsed leaving me in a precarious state of sobriety. That afternoon I paced the lobby of Akron’s Mayflower Hotel. As I peered at the gathering crowd in the bar, I became desperately frightened of a slip. It was the first severe temptation since my New York friend had laid before me what were to become the basic principles of AA, in November 1934. For the next six months I had felt utterly secure in my sobriety. But now there was no security; I felt alone, helpless. In the months before I had worked hard with other alcoholics. Or, rather, I had preached at them in a somewhat cocksure fashion. In my false assurance I felt I couldn’t fall. But this time it was different. Something had to be done at once.

Glancing at a Church Directory at the far end of the lobby, I selected the name of a clergyman at random. Over the phone I told him of my need to work with another alcoholic. Though I’d had no previous success with any of them I suddenly realized how such work had kept me free from desire. The clergyman gave me a list of ten names. Some of these people, he was sure, would refer me a case in need of help. Almost running to my room, I seized the phone. But my enthusiasm soon ebbed. Not a person in the first nine called could, or would, suggest anything to meet my urgency.

One uncalled name still stood at the end of my list–Henrietta S. Somehow I couldn’t muster courage to lift the phone. But after one more look into the bar downstairs something said to me, “You’d better.” To my astonishment a warm Southern voice floated in over the wire. Declaring herself no alcoholic, Henrietta nonetheless insisted that she understood. Would I come to her home at once?

Because she had been enabled to face and transcend other calamities, she certainly did understand mine. She was to become a vital link to those fantastic events which were presently to gather around the birth and development of our AA society. Of all names the obliging Rector had given me, she was the only one who cared enough. I would here like to record our timeless gratitude.

Straightway she pictured the plight of Dr. Bob and Anne. Suiting action to her word, she called their house. As Anne answered, Henrietta described me as a sobered alcoholic from New York who, she felt sure, could help Bob. The good doctor had seemingly exhausted all medical and spiritual remedies for his condition. Then Anne replied, “What you say, Henrietta, is terribly interesting. But I am afraid we can’t do anything now. Being Mother’s Day, my dear boy has just brought in a fine potted plant. The pot is on the table but, alas, Bob is on the floor. Could we try to make it tomorrow?” Henrietta instantly issued a dinner invitation for the following day.

At five o’clock next afternoon, Anne and Dr. Bob stood at Henrietta’s door. She discreetly wisked Bob and me off to the library. His words were, “Mightly glad to meet you Bill. But it happens I can’t stay long; five or ten minutes at the outside.” I laughed and observed, “Guess you’re pretty thirsty, aren’t you?” His rejoinder was, “Well, maybe you do understand this drinking business after all.” So began a talk which lasted hours.

How different my attitude was this time. My fright of getting drunk had evoked a much more becoming humility. After telling Dr. Bob my story, I explained how truly I needed him. Would he allow me to help him, I might remain sober myself. The seed that was to flower as AA began to grow toward the light. But as dear Anne well guessed, that first tendril was a fragile thing. Practical steps had better be taken. She bade me come and live at their menage for awhile. There I might keep an eye on Dr. Bob. And he might on me. This was the very thing. Perhaps we could do together what we couldn’t do separately. Besides I might revive my sagging business venture.

For the next three months I lived with these two wonderful people. I shall always believe they gave me more than I ever brought them. Each morning there was devotion. After the long silence Anne would read out of the Good Book. James was our favorite. Reading him from her chair in the corner, she would softly conclude “Faith without works is dead.”

But Bob’s travail with alcohol was not quite over. That Atlantic City Medical Convention had to be attended. He hadn’t missed one in twenty years. Anxiously waiting, Anne and I heard nothing for five days. Finally his office nurse and her husband found him early one morning at the Akron railroad station in some confusion and disarray–which puts it mildly. A horrible dilemma developed. Dr. Bob had to perform a critical surgical operation just three days hence. Nor could an associate substitute for him. He simply had to do it. But how? Could we ever get him ready in time?

He and I were placed in twin beds. A typical tapering down process was inaugurated. Not much sleep for anybody, but he cooperated. At four o’clock on the morning of the operation he turned, looked at me and said, “I am going through with this.” I inquired, “You mean you are going through with the operation?” He replied, “I have placed both operation and myself in God’s hands. I’m going to do what it takes to get sober and stay that way.” Not another word did he say. At nine o’clock he shook miserably as we helped him into his clothes. We were panic stricken. Could he ever do it? Were he too tight or too shaky, it would make little difference, his misguided scalpel might take the life of his patient. We gambled. I gave him one bottle of beer. That was the last drink he ever took. It was June 10, 1935. The patient lived.

Our first prospect appeared, a neighboring parson sent him over. Because the newcomer faced eviction, Anne took in his whole family, wife and two children. The new one was a puzzler. When drinking, he’d go clean out of his mind. One afternoon Anne sat at her kitchen table, calmly regarding him as he fingered a carving knife. Under her steady gaze, his hand dropped. But he did not sober then. His wife despairingly betook herself to her own parents and he disappeared. But he did reappear fifteen years later for Dr. Bob’s last rites. There we saw him, soundly and happily sober in AA. Back in 1935 we weren’t so accustomed to miracles as we are today, we had given him up.

Then came a lull on the 12th Step front. In this time Anne and Henrietta infused much needed spirituality into Bob and me. Lois came to Akron on vacation from her grind at a New York department store, so raised our morale immensely. We began to attend Oxford Group meetings at the Akron home of T. Henry W. The devotion of this good man and his wife is a bright page in memory. Their names will be inscribed on Page One of AA’s book of first and best friends.

One day Dr. Bob said to me. “Don’t you think we’d better scare up some drunks to work on?” He phoned the nurse in charge of admissions at Akron City Hospital and told her how he and another drunk from New York had a cure for alcoholism. I saw the old boy blush and look disconcerted. The nurse had commented, “Well, Doctor, you’d better give that cure a good workout on yourself.”

Nevertheless the admitting nurse produced a customer. A dandy, she said he was. A prominent Akron lawyer, he had lost about everything. He’d been in City Hospital six times in four months. He’d arrived at that very moment; had just knocked down a nurse he’d thought a pink elephant. “Will that one do you?” she inquired. Said Dr. Bob, “Put him in a private room. We’ll be down when he’s better.”

Soon Dr. Bob and I saw a sight which tens of thousands of us have since beheld, the sight of the man on the bed who does not yet know he can get well. We explained to the man on the bed the nature of his malady and told him our own stories of drinking and recovery. But the sick one shook his head, “Guess you’ve been through the mill boys, but you never were half as bad off as I am. For me it’s too late. I don’t dare go out of here. I’m a man of faith, too; used to be deacon in my church. I’ve still faith in God but I guess he hasn’t got any in me. Alcohol has me, it’s no use. Come and see me again, though. I’d like to talk with you more.”

As we entered his room for our second visit a woman sitting at the foot of his bed was saying, “What has happened to you, husband? You seem so different. I feel so relieved.” The new man turned to us. “Here they are,” he cried. “They understand. After they left yesterday I couldn’t get what they told me out of my mind, I laid awake all night. Then hope came. If they could find release, so might I. I became willing to get honest with myself, to square my wrong doing, to help other alcoholics. The minute I did this I began to feel different. I knew I was going to be well.” Continued the man on the bed, “Now, good wife, please fetch me my clothes. We are going to get up and out of here.” Whereupon AA number three arose from his bed, never to drink again. The seed of AA had pushed another tendril up through the new soil. Though we knew it not, it had already flowered. Three of us were gathered together. Akron’s Group One was a reality.

We three worked with scores of others. Many were called but mighty few chosen; failure was our daily companion. But when I left Akron in September, 1935, two or three more sufferers had apparently linked themselves to us for good.

The next two years marked the “flying blind” period of our pioneering time. With the fine instinct of that good physician he was, Dr. Bob continued to medically treat and indoctrinate every new case, first at Akron City hospital then for the dozen years since at famed St. Thomas where thousands passed under his watchful eye and sure AA touch. Though not of his faith, the Staff and Sisters there did prodigies. Theirs is one of the most compelling examples of love and devotion we AAs have ever witnessed. Ask the thousands of AA visitors and patients who really know. Ask them what they think of Sister Ignatia, of St. Thomas. Or of Dr. Bob. But I’m getting ahead of my story.

Meanwhile a small group had taken shape in New York. The Akron meeting at T. Henry’s home began to have a few Cleveland visitors. At this juncture I spent a week visiting Dr. Bob. We commenced to count noses. Out of hundreds of alcoholics, how many had stuck? How many were sober? And for how long? In that fall of 1937 Bob and I counted forty cases who had significant dry time–maybe sixty years for the whole lot of them! Our eyes glistened. Enough time had elapsed on enough cases to spell out something quite new, perhaps something great indeed. Suddenly the ceiling went up. We no longer flew blind. A beacon had been lighted. God had shown alcoholics how it might be passed from hand to hand. Never shall I forget that great and humbling hour of realization, shared with Dr. Bob.

But the new realization faced us with a great problem, a momentous decision. It had taken nearly three years to effect forty recoveries. The United States alone probably had a million alcoholics. How were we to get the story to them? Wouldn’t we need paid workers, hospitals of our own, lots of money? Surely we must have some sort of a textbook. Dare we crawl at a snail’s pace whilst our story got garbled and mayhap thousands would die? What a poser that was!

How we were spared from professionalism, wealth, and extensive property management; how we finally came up with the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” is a story by itself. But in this critical period it was Dr. Bob’s prudent counsel which so often restrained us from rash ventures that might have retarded us for years, perhaps ruined us for good. Nor can we ever forget the devotion of Dr. Bob and Jim S. (who passed away last summer) as they gathered stories for the AA Book, three-fifths of them coming from Akron alone. Dr. Bob’s special fortitude and wisdom were prime factors in that time so much characterized by doubt, and finally by grave decision.

How much we may rejoice that Anne and Dr. Bob both lived to see the lamp lit at Akron carried into every corner of the earth; that they doubtless realized millions might someday pass under the ever-widening arch whose keystone they so gallantly helped carve. Yet, being so humble as they were, I’m sure they never quite guessed what a heritage they left us, nor how beautifully their appointed task had been completed. All they needed to do was finished. It was even reserved for Dr. Bob to see AA come of age as, for the last time, he spoke to 7000 of us at Cleveland, July, 1950.

I saw Dr. Bob the Sunday before he died. A bare month previous he had aided me in framing a proposal for the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, AA’s third legacy. This bequest, in pamphlet form, was actually at the printers when he took his final departure the following Thursday. As his last act and desire respecting AA, this document will be sure to carry a great and special meaning for us all.

With no other person have I ever experienced quite the same relation: the finest thing I know how to say is that in all the strenuous time of our association, he and I never had an uncomfortable difference of opinion. His capacity for brotherhood and love was often beyond my ken.

For a last word, may I leave with you a moving example of his simplicity and humility. Curiously enough, the story is about a monument–a monument proposed for him. A year ago, when Anne passed away, the thought of an imposing shaft came uppermost in the minds of many. People were insistent that something be done. Hearing rumors of this, Dr. Bob promptly declared against AAs erecting for Anne and himself any tangible memorials or monument. These usual symbols of personal distinction he brushed aside in a single devastating sentence. Said he, “Annie and I plan to be buried just like other folks.”

At the alcoholic ward in St. Thomas his friends did, however, erect this simple plaque. It reads:

IN GRATITUDE THE FRIENDS OF DR. BOB AND ANNE SMITH AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATE THIS MEMORIAL TO THE SISTERS AND STAFF OF ST. THOMAS HOSPITAL AT AKRON, BIRTHPLACE OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. 

ST. THOMAS HOSPITAL BECAME THE FIRST RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION EVER TO OPEN ITS DOOR TO OUR SOCIETY.  

MAY THE LOVING DEVOTION OF THOSE WHO LABORED HERE IN OUR PIONEERING TIME BE A BRIGHT AND WONDROUS EXAMPLE OF GOD’S GRACE EVERLASTINGLY SET BEFORE US ALL.

Sixteen relapse symptoms to watch out for: For any time, any place, any where !

Sixteen relapse symptoms to watch out for: 
For any time, any place, any where ! 

1. Exhaustion – Allowing oneself to become overly tired; usually associated with work addiction as an excuse for not facing personal frustrations. 

2. Dishonesty – Begins with pattern of little lies; escalated to self-delusion and making excuses for not doing what’s called for. 

3. Impatience – I want what I want NOW. Others aren’t doing what I think they should or living the way I know is right.

4. Argumentative – No point is too small or insignificant not to be debated to the point of anger and submission. 

5. Depression – All unreasonable, unaccountable despair should be exposed and discussed, not repressed: what is the “exact nature” of those feelings?

6. Frustration – Controlled anger/resentment when things don’t go according to our plans. Lack of acceptance. See #3.

7. Self-pity – Feeling victimized, put-upon, used, unappreciated: convinced we are being singled out for bad luck.

8. Cockiness – Got it made. Know all there is to know. Can go anywhere, including frequent visits just to hang-out at bars, boozy parties.

9. Complacency – Like #8, no longer sees value of daily program, meetings, contact with other alcoholics, (especially sponsor!), feels healthy, on top of the world, things are going well. Heck may even be cured!

10. Expecting too much of others – Why can’t they read my mind? I’ve changed, what’s holding them up? If they just do what I know is best for them? Leads to feeling misunderstood, unappreciated. See #6.

11. Letting up on disciplines – Allowing established habits of recovery – meditations, prayer, spiritual reading, AA contact, daily inventory, meetings – – to slip out of our routines; allowing recovery to get boring and no longer stimulating for growth. Why bother?!

12. Using mood-altering chemicals – May have a valid medical reason, but misused to help avoid the real problems of impending alcoholic relapse.

13. Wanting too much – Setting unrealistic goals: not providing for short-term successes; placing too much value on material success, not enough on value of spiritual growth.

14. Forgetting gratitude – Because of several listed above, may lose sight of the abundant blessings in our everyday lives: too focused on # 13.

15. “It can’t happen to me.” – Feeling immune; forgetting what we know about the disease of alcoholism and its progressive nature.

16. Omnipotence – A combination of several attitudes listed above; leads to ignoring danger signs, disregarding warnings and advice from fellow members.

— Akron Intergroup News, December 1998