From the January 2001 magazine.

Can We Talk?

I write this article for the old-timers especially, and hope to start some dialogue among us and reflection within us by doing so. These observations are, of course, made out of my own beliefs and experience; I hope they will challenge some of yours.

Do you follow the Big Book directions for working with others? Do you insist that the new person read the book between your first talk with her and the second, or do you commend her to ninety meetings in ninety days? Do you offer to take her through the Steps, or do you suggest she "get a sponsor she can relate to"? Do you point out that the Fourth Step inventory is begun "at once" after the Third Step decision (page 64), or do you vaguely tell him to wait until he "feels better about himself" to begin it? Do you sagely pass out directions for his life, such as "Don't get involved in a relationship in your first year," or do you point him to the Big Book's excellent balance on this subject on pages 68-71?

-- Brad B.

Stockton, California

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