Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Man of Few Words

HOW AN OLD TIMER GREETS A NEWCOMER

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for the past four years of life. He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very bright. He became an alcoholic while attending college. Things have only gone down hill since. Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative A.A. club. They want to develop a meeting for the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The meeting has already started and so Bill starts looking around the room for a seat. The room is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now, the well dressed people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the front of the e room, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the evening's speaker realizes that from way at the back of the meeting, an "old timer" is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the "old timer" is in his eighties, and has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A spiritual man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy. Everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The meeting is utterly silent except for the clicking of the old man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The speaker can't even continue the meeting until the "old timer" does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and welcomes him so he doesn't feel outcast and alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion.
When the speaker gains control, he says,

"What I'm about to say, you will never remember.
What you have just seen, you will never forget."


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I remain ...

sober
teachable
happy
serene
open-minded
consistent
available
loving
interested
passionate
honest
tolerant
compassionate
willing
retired

Tomorrow is HNT. Dust off your cameras. Remember that the goal is to include at least a small fraction of your body in the picture.
That's what makes HNT unique.

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.
-George Burns


14 comments:

Pam said...

What jumped out at me in your list, was "consistant"....that's what I'm striving for!!!

Mary Christine said...

I saw that story before. It is very AA and very sweet.

recoveryroad said...

Genius. That really is walking the walk.

I may steal that for my blog.

Scott W said...

My mind's eye saw that happening in Room 3. Touching.

Mark said...

Thanks dAAve...

Ya' know - what I'd like to say in response to this story?

F****** AA!!!!! lol...

Love them oldtimerzzzzz :)

lushgurl said...

....Tears... sobbing... so grateful for you!
Love ya

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

My dear Mom used to say, action speak louder than words.

She would never say anything when I needed love, but to hold me tight like a baby into her bosom and I felt so very safe. I would never wrong her, ever again. So, help me God.

Thanks for sharing the story, dAAve. You made me NOT feel outcast and alone.

Meg Moran said...

thank you dAAve...I will forward that on....

Todd HellsKitchen said...

HNT tomorrow... Oh, I can't wait!

johno said...

great story, thanks for the check list. I need to watch my HONESTY at work. Watch what am getting away with NOT doing!!

Zane-nawwaa said...

Beautiful. The story and your gratitude list. I'm so blessed to have a friend with such strong AA
practice.

Kari Sullivan said...

What an awesome story. I needed to hear that.

Peace out!
Kari

Shannon said...

thank you Daave for that story- It is a good reminder on remembering where we came from, being tolerant and understanding and kind I loved it. Thank you thank you

lash505 said...

I love that story daave..