Episode 199: Twenty-Five Years of Listening

Glenn S. is a recovering alcoholic, a “Richard Dawkins atheist” who helped found three humanist AA meetings in New York City, and an artist who for twenty-five years brought a sketchbook to meetings where he took notes and sketched the people around him. The sketchbook helped him listen during meetings and resulted in a wonderful book that he titled Twenty-Five Years of Listening. This episode is the story of how the book came to be.

Key points and topics discussed 

  • Glenn’s story.
  • The experience of taking notes and sketching at meetings.
  • Humor in meetings.
  • The importance of listening.
  • The process of putting the book together.
  • His inspiration for the book.
  • The reaction he received when the book was published.

Memorable quotes 

I love the humor. People say that AA is a place where total strangers get together to reminisce. We deflect all the unhappiness and misery with the primary tool of our humanity and our humor. —Glenn

What greater honor can you give to another human being than to listen to them, to acknowledge them, to listen to them, not to wait to talk but to listen and to listen without judgment? Where else does this happen?  —Glenn

I don’t remember specifically what people told me when I first came in, but I remember how they made me feel. — Glenn


Twenty-Five Years of Listening: Life Lessons And Inspiration For All Of Life’s Struggles From the Collective Wisdom of people in recovery is available at Amazon in both paperback and kindle.