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Grapevine : November 2011
REPRINTED FROM GRAPEVINE MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 1949 The idea is in the air that AA might adopt Thanks- giving Week as a time for meetings and meditation on the Tradition of Alcohol- ics Anonymous. The friend who hatched this notion tells you---on another page---why he thinks the idea good. I heartily agree with what he says and hope you will too. Pre-AA, we alkies could some- times achieve that dubious state called "sobriety, period." How bleak and empty this alleged virtue is, only God or a dried-up drunk can fully tes- tify. The reason? Of course every AA knows it: nothing has taken the place of the victim's grog; he's still a man of conflict and disunity. Comes then the 12 Steps of Recovery, bringing to him a "personality change." The shat- tered prospect feels reassembled; he now says he seems all one piece. We understand exactly what he means, for he describes the state of being "at oneness"; he is talking about per- sonal unity. We know he must work to maintain it and that he can't stay alive without it. Will not the same principle hold true for AA as a whole? Isn't it also a fact that the alcoholic is in no greater peril than when he takes sobriety for granted? If vigilant practice of sound principle is a matter of life and death for him, why isn't that equally so for the AA group, and for our far-flung society itself ? Yet many of us still take the basic unity of Alcoholics Anonymous for granted. We seem to forget that the whole of modern society is on a dan- gerous and contagious "dry bender." We evidently assume we are so dif- ferent from other men and women, that disintegration can't hit us. Our unity appears as a gift of Heaven; something to be perpetually enjoyed by us AAs quite without effort. Criticism is not intended, be- cause our present attitude is natural enough. It stems from the fact that no society in its infancy has ever enjoyed more providential protec- tion against temptation and untow- ard happenings than has ours. Mi- nor troubles we have had, but none serious enough to test our adult strength. It's not strange that we are a bit complacent and self-satisfied. Surely there need be no counsel of fear, nor lack of faith in the predic- tion that a far greater time of trial Many of us still take the basic unity of AA for granted. We seem to forget that the whole of modern so- ciety is on a danger- ous ... "dry bender." aagrapevine.org 11