A.A. Oldtimers…On the Twelfth Step
September 1945, Vol. 2 No. 5
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Very few of us know the exact hour and date we had our spiritual experience, and some of us are not conscious of ever having had one at all. However, our changed personalities and perspectives are definite proof that “something” happened to us somewhere along the line as those who knew us “when” will attest.
A.A.s refer to the 12th Step as “working with others,” and this means we try to help the other person work out his or her problem. From our vast fund of knowledge on the subject, gained from our own actual experiences and often under similar conditions, we are peculiarly qualified to exercise that sympathetic understanding that only another alcoholic can have and which is so important in talking to a person who, like ourselves, is allergic to alcohol. This is the crux of the success obtained by groups throughout the country. This A.A. program, which is responsible for our own sobriety, and for giving us a new lease on life, was handed to us on a silver platter and without monetary cost. It is our bounden duty, therefore, to pass it on in the
same manner to those who want it. It was not intended for us to keep to ourselves.