From the August 2017 magazine.

Too much too soon?

One member says reading “How It Works” might not be the best way to set newcomers on the right course

Most people walking in the door for the first time don’t need to know how AA works right away. They need to know that they’re in the right place and that the program does work. So why do so many meetings read “How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book?

I suspect it’s read because that’s where all Twelve Steps are named. But most newcomers don’t need to know all the Steps at their first meeting. And too often someone walking in the door has been struggling for a while and then they hear “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.” Will they think they’ve been failing? Might they be one of those rare men and women who are “constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves” … “born that way” … and therefore “not at fault”? Chapter Five may not give a lot of hope to some newcomers.

-- JoAnn C.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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