Thanks for sharing this topic MKL.
I was sitting out in my backyard earlier today, doing some business writing, when this same topic came up in my mind. So, I put down my business writing, and began reflecting w/ my AA hat on.
I try to avoid thinking in negative terms -- but, sometimes, to stay in reality, we have to look at the dark side and the light side of situations.
The Light side is -- we have a few very small pockets of enthusiasm where the AA fires are burning brightly. The groups have structure, discipline, sponsorship, they focus on recovery and integrity -- and they pretty much do it by staying centered and focused in the Big Book and being active in healthy group fellowship activities.
Then, on the Dark side, it appears that we have a many meetings, that call themselves groups -- and the lights are off.
It's very obvious that the small pockets of enthusiasm is greatly out-numbered.
What ends up happening, as I've experienced and observed it is: The majority of new people that first come into AA, often bouncing from one A to another A, and back to AA... report that their experience in the other A's isn't as good as it is in AA.
Sometimes, I begin to wonder ... with so many groups in AA experiencing problems, and the other A's coming to AA to try to get better, even though they don't identify -- where is it all going to end up, in the very near future?
A couple of friends of mine, and they were my AA book mentors, passed away over the last few years. They had been very instrumental over the last 25/30 yrs -- of taking Big Book Studies all over the world -- which many of todays current pockets of enthusiasm, got their fires burning and got to moving as a result of Joe & Charlie's 12 Step work with the BB.
When they passed -- they left a huge hole, that as of yet, I haven't seen it filled. Their work with the book was a re-lighting of the fire in AA, and got carried over to many of the other A's as well.
With all that said -- my head is still with "Will we weather the storm? What can we do -- to turn it around? And, is it too late to turn it around?"
Perhaps, those were the same questions that were being asked by many, in the early 80's -- who observed the same problems back then, that we are seeing today, within the Fellowship.
And, it causes me to wonder: "Has it ever really -- been any different than it is now?"
One thing, that I think many of us could may (or may not) agree upon is: We need some sort of AA revival going on -- to revive AA.
My focus is to try and work w/ as many "one on one" situations that I can. Of course, it's pretty limited, and I often wonder if I'm making much of a difference. A very few will seem to get it -- and the majority will return to the bounce. When I have talks w/ those who returned to the bounce -- they indicate to me, that "peer pressure" inside the fellowship was too great for them to persist in "doing it differently" so, they "returned to the familiar."
I really hope that this topic will take off and interest many of the AA's here from all around the world -- to comment. At least it will let me know "Is it me -- that just has an altered perception, and am I not really seeing things as they are?" Or... is this really going on.
Thanks for your share.