“…never force yourself upon [a recovery prospect]…wait for the end of his (or her) next drinking bout. You might place this book where s/he can see it in the interval…” (page 90)
In principle, the overall idea here is to not present our solution (Step Two and beyond) until after Step One has been taken.
“When [your prospect] sees you know all about the drinking game, commence to describe yourself as an alcoholic…how baffled you were, how you finally learned that you were sick…an account of the struggles you made to stop…the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.” (pages 91-92)
Our problem is alcoholism, not alcohol, and our duty here is to try to help the next alcoholic see his or her own powerlessness and hopelessness just as surely as we have already seen our own.
“If you are satisfied that [your recovery prospect] is a real alcoholic, begin to dwell on the hopeless feature of the malady… Don’t, at this stage, refer to this book, unless he has seen it and wishes to discuss it.” (page 92)
Objections will arise at Step Two, and it is best to not arouse them while still dealing with Step One.
“If [your candidate] shows interest, lend him (or her) your copy of this book.” (page 94)
If you wish, keep an extra copy on hand for lending to others.
“If [your prospect] is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him (or her) to read this book in the interval…
“If s/he thinks s/he can do the job in some other way (than through spiritual means), or prefers some other spiritual approach (than the one suggested in our book)…be friendly. Let it go at that.” (page 95)
A.A. is not a compilation of “Whatever works for you”, and our book is intended “to (help) keep our message from becoming garbled and twisted beyond recognition.” (as mentioned by Dr. Bob and in “A.A. Comes of Age“, page 144)
“[Your prospect] has read this volume and says s/he is prepared to go through with the Twelve Steps of the program of recovery. Having had the experience yourself, you can give him much practical advice.” (page 96)
Rather than ever telling anyone what to do, we simply share what we have done.