Careful Readings

I want to thank someone, problem is I can’t remember who to thank. At the beginning of the year someone suggested that I start reading As Bill See’s It cover to cover, in order… you know how you read most books. I had always just opened it up randomly or searched in the index in the back for a particular topic. I’ve added it to my morning readings and read two pages a day (at least, sometimes more) and it’s been really great to have those extra ideas and reflections. (you can add in here the joke you hear at conventions: Bill wrote “As Bill See’s It” but Lois wrote “Lois Remembers” which is kind of funny… the first time…)

As Bill See's It
As Bill See’s It

As Bill See’s It is an interesting book – it contains quotes from Bill’s letters, books, talks, most of them offer something to think about for the day. But there are things that really get on my nerves about it – they will cite the book Alcoholics Anonymous for certain passages but it wont match exactly… for example I’ve written about the Grouch and the Brainstorm a few times where in the book it says “brainstorm” but in ABS it says “the sudden rage”. There are actually several times where it does that and I think to myself “Aren’t there Cite Police” that monitor this kind of thing? I actually went so far as to contact A.A. World Services to ask them about it… 

“We have checked with our Archives here at G.S.O. and they suggested the answer is in the Forward to the book. As Bill See’s It was written by our cofounder, Bill W., and as he explains in the Forward, ti was often necessary for him to edit and rewrite” AA GSO

But I’m like, how can you site a book if it’s not accurate… The forward says:

“Because the quotations used were lifted out of their original context, it has been necessary in the interest of clarity to edit, and sometimes to rewrite, a number of them.” Bill

OK fine… I say (I try not to argue with founders 😉 ).

This does bring me to other thoughts, Friday night I was asked to read “How It Works” – actually, I was just asked to read… and I said “as long as it isn’t the Promises I’ll read anything and she handed me HIW. It’s an AA meeting and instead of reading from the Big Book they have me read from a sheet of paper, which is ok… usually. I was reading along and this is what was written:

“Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter of the agnostic and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:”

And I didn’t catch it … I was actually reading the text aloud and fumbled there and did a double take… I know it seems small “of” instead of “to” but if I had read it from the book it would have been accurate and there wouldn’t have been a fumble at all.  (reminds me of the old-timers that used to say the worst thing they ever did was take the steps out of the book and put them on the wall). It’s ok, I plan to let them know when I go back there again.

Last night at a meeting a guy was reading the 12 steps out of the book and he said:

“9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others”

Again, it’s just one word, whenever instead of wherever does it matter?

I think it does, probably because some old-timer when I was young advised me to read it correctly… he pulled out his own book and “when you read this tonight make sure you don’t screw this up, I hear it happen all the time” he was a speaker from out of the area (maybe Phoenix lol) and he went on to say “whenever isn’t acceptable, it’s an action step and it needs to happen sooner and wherever possible”. I try not to argue with old-timers, I’ve found that they’re right most of the time.

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned… the book says. But I still need to correct wrongs.

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