On Simplicity, of Faith, of Living, of Outlook

AA Grapevine, October 1944, Vol. 1 No. 5


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. – Chicago

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