Friday, May 11, 2007

How an oldtimer 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 a alcoholic while attending college. Things have only gone downhill 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 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."
"Be careful how you live. You may be the only Big Book some people will ever read".

forwarded to me by my friend gwen at Twelve Beads

2 comments:

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