From the December 1988 magazine.

Getting to Know You

"Not to embarrass you but so that we can get to know you and talk to you after the meeting, will those with less than thirty days of continuous sobriety please raise their hands?"

How many times have we heard those words? They're standard fare at all our meetings, and are, of course, intended to welcome the new person coming to AA, who's scared or shaking or perhaps belligerent and anxious. The newcomers will inevitably get a round of applause to let them know we care. But to what extent do we really intend to go beyond that cursory introduction and applause? To what extent do we really want to "get to know you" after the meeting or any other time? Do we "walk as we talk"--a phrase we so often use?

-- Lou S.

Burbank, California

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