This is exactly what I was hoping for here. I am really grateful for all of the activity in this thread and I thank you all, those to come - and I look forward to more responses...I just want to sit back and 'listen', as it were.
Just to give a sense of where this thread started...
In my immediate area, it just doesn't seem possible to have an exchange like this; though I have tried on many occassions and the usually course of conversation [on the 'man side' of the room] degrades to nonsense. I know there are many reasons for this, but won't get into that here.
I've found that going out of my area really has it's benefits; fresh perspective and hearing those 164 pages, from someone else's reading and understanding, helps me to round out my understanding and always
pays dividends in the quality of the message I carry to others. This is of paramount importance to me, because I not only pass the message to sponsees in AA, but to most anyone interested [practicing these principals in ALL of my affairs]. This forum offers a really nice 'round table' to work over ideas...this is cool!
I guess that in my 21 years of 'sobriety' and the numerous, awkward, personal moments of recovery within those 21 years, I feel that I have wasted quite enough time. I've found it very helpful to get other views on many things
in AA - not limiting myself to those folks with a bazillion years of sobriety either. Much of what I have been able to learn and change in myself -over all- has been through seeking help and insight from relative newcomers too. I find people working a program of action and spiritual foundation and 'scope them out'...their 'time' in the program is not nearly as important to me as the quality - their actions speak the message that they deliver and if they are on the move, I am moving with them. Sitting around talking about the Steps and the vital elements found in them means very little to someone who has 'heard it all before'.
Action is the magic word!
Thanks again for all of the viewpoints here - keep them coming!!Woo-Hoo!!