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proposal to change the word God into Chair
in Alcoholics Anonymous literature.
article is written by nationally recognized historian and
oft-quoted Alcoholics Anonymous archivist Mitchell K.
change the word God into Chair in AA literature. We made
a decision to turn our lives and our will over to the care
of a Chair as we understood it.
people have such a problem with the word God, why not a
Chair? However, what kind of Chair? Would it be a corner
chair, Chesterfield Chair, Eames Chair, a Farthingale Chair,
a Reclining Chair or the thousands of other descriptive
and named chairs there are in the world? It could be a Chair
carved out of rock or coral. One made of wrought iron or
plywood or even different types of polymers and plastics.
How about one made of corrugated cardboard or gold?
all, the Power greater than ourselves should be a Chair
as we understood it. I personally find my Eames Chair with
ottoman much more comfortable than a hard wood Adirondack
Chair. An 18th Century Bachelor’s Chair can be sat
on and it also can be converted into a step stool, ladder
and ironing board. A Chair can be for sitting or it can
be for reclining such as a reclining Chair or a Long Chair
(also known as a Chaise Lounge). It can be used for piling
books on or draping a coat or jacket.
is an exercise on how to define the word Chair. Take a hundred
people and ask them to close their eyes. Then ask them to
listen as you say a word. Then, after picturing that word
in their mind ask them to write down the image they saw.
The word you are going to say is Chair.
the exercise is over, take all the descriptions of the images
and compare them. Most people will have varying images of
Chair as they “understood” the word. You might
even be surprised as to the amount of different images described.
same is with the term God. After all, isn’t the word
followed with the explanation of “As we understand…”?
Yet, people at AA meetings have arguments ad nauseum about
the word God and what that stands for as if there is a universal
consensus. Would people also argue about the type of Chair
one is talking about? Some people would prefer to sit on
the floor or on a couch or bed and not a chair. Would those
people argue that the description talked about at a meeting
would have to be the Floor as we understand Floor?
change the word to Floor. Would it be a hardwood Floor.
A laminate Floor, wide plank Floor, linoleum or tile? Would
it be sub-flooring or just plain plywood or dirt?
in AA argue about the silliest things. Rather than focus
on staying sober and helping others to achieve sobriety
or recovery as the Primary Purpose they focus on Chairs,
Tables and Floors. Is it more important to argue about how
or by what method one has become a new creation or rejoice
in the fact that the person has changed and is now living
a new life, more useful and less destructive to themselves,
their families and loved ones and the world around them?
we relegate staying sober and helping others to achieve
sobriety to a secondary purpose and take arguing about concepts
of a Higher Power and the word we use or understand as that
Power to the primary focus, we lose sight of the real purpose
and mission; to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.
I could personally care less if you believe the same as
I believe. I do however care if you are seeking recovery
that someone reaches out their hand to you and offers Fellowship
and tells you of the solution that they have found for themselves.
The choice the seeking individual has was, is and always
will be - theirs. If they don’t agree with the solution
you offer them they can move on and find another whose solution
is more to their liking.
what is to their liking doesn’t work for them either
but that is another proposal…
will be revealed