From the March 1963 magazine.

P.S. From the Editor

Bless Them that Curse You

Wondering whether it was an individual kink of my own or a trait common among alcoholics, I began asking some of my AA friends whether they felt we came in for a little more than our share of catching it in the neck. We do, my research reveals. Somebody always seems to be cussing us out. For this reason the saying "bless them that curse you," with its AA version about treating sick friends with understanding, has a special punch for alcoholics.

Bless them that curse you--what an order! When somebody cusses me out I incline to cuss back, immediately and twice as loud. Just lately, though, as so often happens with AAs who like to read, I've being finding some pointers on the very matter that had stumped me. There was a reason far better than mere sentimental altruism why I should bless them--they are doing me the incalculable favor of helping to keep me in touch with reality and sanity. The world of pure self is a fantasy world; hear what the philosopher Gabriel Marcel has to say about it; "The more the contourless fantasy world replaces the world of practical action, the more does solid ground make itself felt as blind, uncanny dread." Or this from our patron Dr. Harry Tiebout, writing in the Grapevine: "The discipline of Group work provides a necessary control for the runaway ego." The real world is a place where, as the German thinker Schiller said, "Things collide harshly in space"--a world where people often blast us. This is the real world and there is no other real world, and to retreat from it in alcohol or egotistical fantasy is insanity. I have to learn to get along in it, as it is. Besides, through getting cussed at, I sometimes learn something I needed to learn. And so, darn it, for my own good, I'm working a little harder on "Bless them that curse you."

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