January 2014: Just Don't Drink
Could a popular newcomer saying do more harm than good?
I have attended several thousand AA meetings during the past 20-plus years. During that time, I’ve noticed many changes in the Fellowship, some for the better, and some, I think, that bear more consideration. One emerging trend is an increase in short, sharp directives to newcomers. The most popular of these is: “Just don’t drink!” I have heard this command strongly and insistently expressed, and sometimes even shouted dogmatically, occasionally followed by a number of expletives, in the hope of helping a newcomer to attain and maintain sobriety. At times I get the impression from...