From the September 1958 magazine.

Taking Inventory

The second of a series of "Beginners' Meetings"--to run from time to time--for newcomers to AA sobriety.

LAST week someone asked the question, "Why an inventory? Why is Step Four suggested?" That's a good question and I wish I had a fast answer for it. Certainly I couldn't even try in the short time of this meeting. I'd have to attempt a story centuries old--of philosophies and religions ancient, medieval and modern; of the present day views in psychoanalysis and psychiatry. That's a history of aid to mankind which is a bit beyond my scope.

It occurs to me though, that if we think about how an inventory is taken in AA we may then realize why it is suggested and why it is an aid to sober living. I think all of us take it but you will meet with some in AA, sober for years, who will tell you that they never took an inventory. Well, maybe so, but I can't help but think they are probably kin to those people who tell you they never said a prayer--maybe so.

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