From the January 1953 magazine.

A Sponsor Puts It in Writing

My dear Bob:

DELEGATING myself as your sponsor, I want to give you briefly a little advice, that is based upon about five years' experience in AA and total sobriety after thirteen years as an alcoholic.

  1. AA is a deep program, requires a lot of meditation and sincere study. It is something that grows on a person and doesn't usually come like a flash of lightning. That is the reason that AA has the slogans easy does it and first things first.
  2. I don't want you to become too enthused and over-confident to begin with because you must remember that your excess drinking did not come on you in two or three weeks; therefore, you cannot expect to find the entire answer in a short time. I want you to study carefully the literature which has been written by alcoholics and the pamphlet I am enclosing on AA tradition. Bob, I want you to study these books religiously and the Big Book which you have.
  3. I would not try too much going out carrying the AA message to other alcoholics to begin with, but wait until you have grasped it yourself and AA has taken hold of your life, and then you will have something to carry and give away. You cannot give someone else something unless you have it yourself; therefore, gain your own sobriety first and then you will be able to help others along the way.
  4. Groups are not organized in the way that you organize civic clubs. AA groups are born in the lives of one or two individuals and from that little beginning they carry the message to other sick alcoholics and gradually a group is born. Groups that are organized before there is proper foundation or organized inadvisably are not good. AA groups have never been known to fold up that were started with the proper material and spiritual foundation on which to build.

May God bless you, and take it easy; read, and study, and if you have never done a little praying, boy, you will find it helpful. It has often been said that if a man is too big to pray he is too big for AA.

-- V.D.S.

Rich Square, N. Car

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