Dear ESSAY

Are We Losing Sight of Our Primary Purpose?

Dear Essay,

Over the last several years I have noticed that speakers at International, regional, and even local meetings are not really sharing the pain of what got them to SA. They skip over the past with vague generalizations, so as to get to the recovery part and “focus on the solution.” I think this is misguided. As a newcomer, I need to hear the problem, so I know you understand what I am going through. Only when I know you know my problem, will I be ready to listen to your solution. And as an old-timer, I need to hear the pain of the problem too, because I can’t remember it. I need to remember it, or I will go back out there. So sharing one’s past is important to both the newcomer and the old-timer. It is frequently our greatest asset. I have never heard an AA speaker quickly generalize the past and move on.

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