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Talking Points

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At our meetings, before the meeting is opened up for sharing, someone always reads the statement on cross talk from the Suggested Meeting Format, so that members are aware of guidelines for sharing. Recently the leader of our meeting slipped: instead of asking for a volunteer to read the statement about cross talk, she asked, “Who would like to read ‘Small Talk?’” It was an innocent slip, and we all laughed and agreed that “small talk is also discouraged at our meetings.”

After the meeting, I thought about how true it is: in OA, we don’t usually engage in small talk. I realized how precious it is to have a place to go where people actually talk about their lives in a meaningful way. Where else can you find a group of people, who might otherwise be strangers, who willingly sit for an hour and listen to the feelings of everyone in the group without judgement and without offering advice? I can think of few other places besides these rooms where this kind of support and compassion are so abundant. Indeed, it is a rare thing and we are blessed.

— Terry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

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