From the March 1954 magazine.

The Rocks of AA

ALL members of Alcoholics Anonymous who are honest with themselves are sober. Some are reluctantly sober. Others are passively sober. Some are happily sober. Others are joyously sober. Why is there a difference? It's the quality of their sobriety. Sober is sober, you may say. If a guy or the gal isn't drinking then he's sober. If he or she is drinking then he or she isn't sober. That's all there is to it. But that isn't all there is to it. A ride on the water wagon will bring sobriety, at least for the duration of the ride. But it's likely to be a pretty low grade of sobriety. It's a reluctant sobriety, the I-don't-like-this-but-I've-got-to kind. The rider is so sorry for himself he won't even talk to the driver. He might just as well be going through a tunnel for all the passing scene means to him. Some members of AA are like that.

Then there's the passive sobriety. This alcoholic has reached the bottom below which he doesn't want to go, so he joins AA. He comes to meetings, listens a bit, talks a bit, puts enough of the principles to work to keep himself sober, takes only a passive interest in the group, seldom has time for Twelfth Step work, absorbs as much as he needs and gives only what is brushed from him through contact. He's sober, yes. But he isn't the kind of member that has made AA grow, that has enabled AA to reach out to the thousands of hopeless drunks and restore them to sanity. He isn't particularly happy or unhappy. He's rather numb about the whole thing. Fortunately, there aren't too many members like him.

-- Here's How

Chicago, Illinois

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