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February 1956

Across the Editor's Desk

IN tune with the rhythm of the mercantile world, this seems to be the special time of stock taking. No single report, of course, could ever contain what each single AA has found in his own life-giving inventory, but these pages the year long try to give some indication of what that report might be.

But on the journalistic level, your GV can and does look over the past year with a report on what the world has learned about alcoholism as acknowledged in the public prints. And as our reporter sets it down it is an encouraging picture. . .a picture of progress toward the light of more understanding, new approaches, marked success for the whole message of recovery.

There is a however coming up here as we see it. . .and it is the positive however with which AA greets each new today. The job of enlightenment is still far from done. As individuals we know this. As members of the group our individual knowledge of it finds affirmation in the year-end report on the public level.

We draw encouragement first from this further proof that the concept of alcoholism as a disease--the concept that has started so many of us on the road to healing--each year gains a wider acceptance among the general public. We have more evidence this year than ever that there is also a broader knowledge that "the alcoholic can be helped and is worth helping."

But even a cursory reading of the 1955 accomplishments will reveal great areas of misunderstanding and just plain ignorance.

Is this our affair? Isn't our own individual sobriety our only concern? And, basic to that, the quiet "sticking to our knitting"--carrying AA's message to other alcoholics?

AA example, individually and collectively, will continue to exercise its public influence whether, individually, we like it or not. The suggestions of the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions for our own survival continue to point the way for the six-in-a-hundred who still search for the unopened door. We are, your reporter submits, a part of the way of public enlightenment--through Step Twelve and Tradition Five--even though, for our own self's sake, as a society we seek no part of active leadership. For a better social climate surely helps to carry the message to the Six who still suffer.

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