BY: A. D. | GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA
From the November 1957 Grapevine
In my opinion, the minute we come down the stairs on meeting night we shed the cloak of the worries for the week to gather here for one purpose–to help one another. For a whole week, as individuals, we have had to make decisions in our businesses, our homes, and in other fields. Let us enjoy these few short hours of fellowship with those who understand and with the people who can laugh and have a darned good reason for doing so. Then, when we don our coats to go back up the stairs, we are better prepared both mentally and spiritually to cope with an ever demanding life on the outside.
I see no reason why an individual, if he is so inclined, may not endorse his own opinions on any number of outside issues as “John Doe, member of Alcoholics Anonymous.” That’s his baby. He has one mind, and no doubt his own track on which to run it. But I’ll bet if we handpicked five people from our group here who had the same political leanings, religion, racial origin and the same outlook on world affairs and asked them to give a panel discussion on any one subject, they still wouldn’t be in complete agreement. So, how could we as a cosmopolitan group even contemplate venturing an opinion or endorsing outside issues? Our only obligation as alcoholics is to ourselves collectively and individually.
I think that being anonymous and obscure as a group is all important to prospective new members. To most of us, the realization that we were failures as social drinkers and needed help with our problem was paralyzing enough at first. The knowledge that we could enter a group such as this without having our names tossed around amongst the local cynics was balm to our wounded pride. Now it doesn’t matter, but at that time if there had been a mere inkling of an idea that we would be in the public eye as a member of AA, nine chances out of ten we would still be looking for a do-it-yourself plan.
So, if we are to continue with our “all for one and one for all” ideals, I believe that we should as a group stay on a self-improvement program of our own making, steer clear of endeavors other than those fundamental to our being here.
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