On Simplicity, of Faith, of Living, of Outlook
The A.A. program itself is simple. Why do too many of us try to read complexities and mysteries into the 12 steps?
In our drinking days our lives were complex and confused. We were unable to be honest with ourselves and we rationalized our wrong position with all the tricks of evasion and equivocation.
We added jealousy, resentment and intolerance to the tangled pattern of our lives. Our greatest longing was for relief, for deliverance from a way of living that had become too complex to endure without the treacherous aid of alcohol.
Our introduction to A.A. at once offered that freedom, if we desired it without reservation and were willing to follow a few steps whose greatest appeal to our bewildered spirits was their simplicity.
One of the main differences between A.A. and other programs of sound living is the ease with which a newcomer can grasp its principles, and with which the oldest member can live each day in harmony with himself and his neighbors by practicing the simply stated 12 steps.
Kipling might have written this expressly for A.A.:
Not as a ladder from Earth to Heaven,
not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his
own kind in their common need
If each individual member wholeheartedly and unquestioningly accepts the program in the simple form it was given us, without straining for effects and methods of practice to elaborate it, we will have even-tempered groups with only enough organization to insure against over-organization.
Earl T. of Chicago
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Before there was a "Big Book", Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, the "AA Grapevine" or General Service -- before there were meetings, clubs, conventions or any AA literature -- before there was an H&I committee, there was a visit to an Akron hospital where "one drunk talked to another."