Break the Reader, Not literally, of course!

One thing I see over and over again is how at many meetings I visit, the Daily Readers are not only used for reading the day’s page, but also as the only literature used for the topic of the meeting. Not that there is anything wrong with this, of course, but the problem lies in the fact that some groups seem to ONLY use the Daily Readers in place of any other piece of Conference Approved Literature (CAL). We have so many wonderful books at our disposal that it is a shame to ignore them. And, when we don’t use them, newcomers to Al-Anon don’t become aware of their existence.

I once used the smallish book The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage for a series of meetings. There was so much in that little book that one meeting was not enough to cover the vast wisdom I found amongst its pages.

Our new workbook, Reaching for Personal Freedom: Living the Legacies is a spectacular tool to use when having a meeting on a Step or Tradition. It’s fresh and new and each time I’ve used it I’ve gotten wonderful comments at the end. (Not to mention selling a copy!)

Of course, one of the easiest pieces of CAL we can use at a meeting is our Forum. There is always an article on a meeting topic or the larger articles can be passed around, each member reading one or two paragraphs, or plucking the little “gems” of wisdom out is not only a great discussion starter, but also a wonderful opportunity for members to see what the Forum is all about and it is also a great time to introduce the idea of getting a personal subscription.

Even picking a pamphlet out to use as a discussion starter is a great way to get a topic going.

So next time it is your turn to lead a meeting, put down your Daily Readers and reach for one of the vast array of other pieces of CAL at our disposal. I predict you will get a lot out of it!

Literature Coordinator
Illinois North, Panel 55

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