From the September 2010 magazine.

Why are we shouting?

Chanting is bad for AA's public relations, an old-timer assers

My name is Bob H. and I am an alcoholic. Please don't chant, yell, shout or say, "Hi, Bob!" This statement is the first part of Steps One and part of Step Five. This is not and was never meant to be a greeting or salutation.

I well remember the first time at a meeting when I stated: "My name is Bob and I am an alcoholic." It was a reverent, sacred moment. My dictionary defines reverence as a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe.

I also well remember the meeting in 1980 when (after 10 years of this reverence) a member behind me chanted, "Hi, Bob!" At first I was...

-- BOB H.

Seymour, Conn.