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We were talking with a comparatively new member at a meeting recently who stated that he had made this trip across town to hear the speaker scheduled to speak. He informed us that he had known this man for many years and considered him one of the lowest of the low, a man without any decent principles or impulses and absolutely devoid of any morals or character.
Soon after he had embraced the Fellowship, he heard this man [being extolled by several as being one of the most outstanding AAs in the Cleveland area. He couldn’t believe his ears, It couldn’t be the same man . . . and if it was, then very evidently this cookie had certainly pulled the wool over the eyes of “the guys who ran AA” and let him come in. And if it was indeed the same fellow whom he knew, inside and out, he would expose this fourflusher to all and sundry.
He searched the Group News column of the Central Bulletin and learned that this man was to speak at this particular meeting. We sat with the visitor and as the speaker rose to make his talk, the visitor hissed an aside to us: “That’s the faker!” We quieted him and urged him to listen with an open mind.
For fifteen minutes, the speaker qualified, describing himself as having been morally and spiritually bankrupt. He had been disloyal to his wife and family, his employer and all of his friends. His word was worth nothing and his promises false. None could have sunk lower, he admitted.
“God must have listened to the prayers of my family,” he went on, “for I hadn’t been in contact with Him for many years.” A complete stranger took him in, had hospitalized him, reconciled him with his family and former employer and gave him the keys to the AA way of life.
His words rang with sincerity and his humility was impressive as he described the battle he had with downing his old wrong impulses and changing his thinking habits so that he could face “The Man Upstairs” (his conception of the Power Greater Than Himself) each night.
It hadn’t been easy for him, but he dutifully followed his sponsor’s example and advice. His sponsor had impressed him with his need for a mental and moral catharsis, and emphasized the importance of the Four Absolutes which he had found as a solution for his own moral regeneration.
He found it most difficult to be ABSOLUTELY honest, pure, unselfish, and to practice love . . . but he persisted and found to his amazement that life was FUN – real, honest, care-free fun, and life was good.
The man at our right sat spellbound and when the meeting closed, he jumped to his feet and was the first to greet the man whom he had intended to “expose.”
We did not listen to their conversation, but we did notice that afterwards they sat to one side, talking intimately as we left the meeting.
We met the newcomer the other day at one of our nursing homes, where he had taken his first “baby.” We noticed a decided change in his attitude. He seemed “to belong.”
We asked him how he was getting along and he informed us that his life had completely changed since the meeting we had attended together when he was going to show up the “faker.”
The “faker” and he became inseparable companions and the “Daily Plan and the Four Absolutes” have completely changed his life.
He also has found that sober living with a plan and purpose can be fun-real fun.
By Central Bulletin Editor, June 1960