~ My journey & joy through CAL & AFG adventures ~

CAL – Item # B-31 – Many Voices, One Journey


B-31WHAT I LEARNED:  1. Initially, I was dreading reading this book.  I thought it was just going to be a boring history book with a litany of dates & facts that were as dry as sandpaper.  Turns out, this has been one of the best well-written books I’ve come across so far!!   It was designed so it could be used in group discussions (similar to a daily reader) so no section is long enough to become boring.  As it encapsulates each World Service Conference from Al-Anon’s beginning up until 2010, it also switches to member sharings from those different time periods & offers questions that bring large WSO issues down to a personal level.

2. The overall theme definitely seems to be how a growing worldwide organization deals with change.  Whether it’s civil rights in the 60’s, acknowledging adult children of alcoholics in the 80’s, welcoming gays & lesbians in the 90’s, relocating the WSO office & owning property, establishing Alateen safety requirements, using KBDM thinking (see page 363), registering online meetings, or looking to increase diversity in the future it has not been as smooth of a road as I thought!  (Perhaps that’s why the WSO loves 3-year trial periods!)  I think a line on page 185 from the 2nd edition of Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism (item # B-1) says it best: “all growth is accompanied by resistance, whether it is a seed struggling through compacted earth, the birth of a newborn, or a person’s effort to surrender negative views.”

3. One of the most touching parts of the book for me was the “To Russia with Love” program in the early to mid-90’s that encouraged the “adoption” of Russian groups until they could be self-supporting.  The letter from a Russian member on page 284 still makes me cry.  If anybody ever asks me why I go to Al-Anon, I would quote this one line from her letter: “He drinks, but my hand shakes.”

beach**BONUS:  In 1993, Tampa, Florida was one of 3 “narrowed-down” cities considered for the new WSO headquarters before they finally chose Virginia Beach.  I guess they had beaches on their mind after being in New York for so long!


4 thoughts on “CAL – Item # B-31 – Many Voices, One Journey

  1. Thanks for sharing. This book does sound interesting. Take care. Be well. You can go wrong with Al Anon 🙂

  2. I have learned so much from your review. I had never thought about how world changes would be addressed by Al-Anon. Interesting. Thank you, Pat, for your service. I appreciate all of the time you spend reading and writing for all of us.
    Blessings. Patty L

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