From the September 1991 magazine.

A Benchmark in Sobriety

Step Nine - Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.

When I arrived at the Eighth and Ninth Steps, I found I had an unusual amends to make. I needed to make amends to the entire town I grew up in, for various acts of juvenile delinquency. There was no way of finding individual firemen, policemen, or citizens I may have involved or harmed twenty years before. But I still wanted to make amends in some way.

I first tried writing a letter to the local newspaper, outlining my transgressions of the past, and declaring that I wanted to apologize to the town. The editor refused to publish my letter, saying that such a letter might actually encourage other young people to misbehave.

-- Jack A.

Montclair, New Jersey

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