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A.A.'s Greatest Danger - Rigidity
1986 GENERAL SERVICE CONFERENCE CLOSING TALK
At the closing brunch on Saturday morning, Bob Pearson (G.S.O. senior adviser), who was retiring, gave a powerful and inspiring closing talk (excerpted below) to the 36th Conference.
This is my 18th General Service Conference - the first two as a director of the Grapevine and A.A.W.S., followed by four as a general service trustee. In 1972, I rotated out completely, only to be called back two years later as general manager of G.S.O., the service job I held until late 1984. Since the 1985 International Convention, of course, I have been senior adviser. This is also my last Conference, so this is an emotionally charged experience.
I wish I had time to express my thanks to everyone to whom I am indebted for my sobriety and for the joyous life with which I have been blessed for the past nearly 25 years. But since this is obviously impossible, I will fall back on the Arab saying that Bill quoted in his last message, "I thank you for your lives." For without your lives, I most certainly would have no life at all, much less the incredibly rich life I have enjoyed.
Let me offer my thoughts about A.A.'s future. I have no truck with those bleeding deacons who decry every change and view the state of the Fellowship with pessimism and alarm. On the contrary, from my nearly quarter-century's perspective, I see A.A. as larger, healthier, more dynamic, faster growing, more global, more service-minded, more back-to-basics, and more spiritual - by far - than when I came through the doors of my first meeting in Greenwich, Connecticut, just one year after the famous Long Beach Convention. A.A. has flourished beyond the wildest dreams of founding members, though perhaps not of Bill himself, for he was truly visionary.
I echo those who feel that if this Fellowship ever falters or fails, it will not be because of any outside cause. No, it will not be because of:
If you were to ask me what is the greatest danger facing A.A. today, I would have to answer:
Bob Pearson (senior adviser)
As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of A.A. with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In A.A. and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!
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Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY