WHAT I LEARNED: When I was first asked to be a speaker in 2012, I ran to get this item & it wasn’t so much as a guideline as it was a goldmine! I even used it as a checklist to make sure I had certain points covered. Re-reading it now, I see the importance of anonymity (especially Traditions 11 & 12) when speaking. For instance, if I’m taped, the recording becomes property of the taper… which might eventually end up online or on an app somewhere. So, I may be speaking to an Al-Anon group, but that doesn’t mean future listeners will be Al-Anon members!
**UPDATE (5/5/17): This guideline was revised in 2013. The changes are substantial & seem to be offering more clarity & is definitely more inclusive of Alateen. Listed below are a few update examples:
- The word “Alateen” appeared only 16 times in the 2002 version, but now appears 26 times in this 2013 version.
- The phrase: “see our hardcover books” now says: “see our Al-Anon/Alateen Conference Approved Literature.”
- Any references to the outdated word “tape” under the “Audio Recordings” section have been removed.
- The phrase “closed meeting” was removed.
- The World Service Office’s (WSO’s) website address (www.al-anon.alateen.org) now appears for the first time on this guideline at the bottom of page 2.
- The most interesting change though, in my opinion, is that the word “alcoholism” was changed to the phrase: “the effects of someone’s drinking.” I’m guessing “effects” has a broader scope & again is another sign of inclusivity.
If you’d like to see all the changes that were made, I’ve highlighted them on this 2013 Version of G-1.
***UPDATE (10/13/21): This guideline has been recently revised in 2021 & the changes are very minimal – mostly grammatical/punctuation corrections were made & changes for keeping up with the latest trends in technology. However, I do miss the overall graphic design with certain sentences enlarged. It seems they were removed & more of the text appears on page 1 …possibly to leave more room for future revisions? Listed below are a few update examples:
- The word “Internet” is no longer capitalized.
- The words “web site” & “multi-media” now appear as one word: “website” & “multimedia.”
- Both the World Service Office’s shortened website address: al-anon.org – without the “www” prefix oh by the way – & the email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) now appear for the first time on this guideline at the bottom of page 2.
Maybe on future updates, they’ll include something about speaking at virtual meetings – especially those in another country where it’s a good idea to allow extra time for pausing so the translator can translate! 😉 Also, anytime another guideline is referenced within the text, hopefully it will be a clickable link since WSO’s hyperlink addresses for the guidelines don’t change even though the documents behind them do. It would be nice to see these guidelines a little more interactive – just sayin’!
If you’d like to see all the changes that were made, I’ve highlighted them on this 2021 Version of G-1. And a clean, unmarked electronic copy of this new 2021 version can be downloaded directly from the World Service Office website by clicking this link: G-1 Guideline