From the November 1992 magazine. First printed in May 1971.

Let's Talk About Material Things

It's that money doesn't buy happiness but we do have responsibilities in this world - From the May 1971 Grapevine

It's almost a cliche. Time and time again, you'll hear AA members talk about what's happened to them in the way of financial recovery, then quickly add, "But material things don't count. Money doesn't buy happiness. You don't have to drive a Cadillac to feel good."

Whatever its form, the statement makes me uneasy. It is true that excessive materialism is one of the curses of our age, and that many of us have come to grief while in pursuit of the god of business success. Others have been disillusioned when they found success and it turned to ashes in their grasp. And there's no doubt that material things are limited in their power to give us what we really need in life. Materialism should be modified. But dare we push this modification to the point of saying that material things don't count at all?

-- M. D. B.

Jackson, Michigan

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