The Reason You Were Chosen

“You can help when no one else can.  You can secure their confidence when others fail…  Ministers and doctors are competent and you can learn much from them if you wish, but it happens that because of your own drinking experience you can be uniquely useful to other alcoholics.”
“Doctors are rightly loath to tell alcoholic patients the whole story unless it will serve some good purpose.  But you may talk to him about the hopelessness of alcoholism because you offer a solution.”
“… He has read this volume and says 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.”
“Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now.  Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have – the key to life and happiness for others.  With it you can avert death and misery for them.”
“God will constantly disclose more to you and to us.  Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick.  The answers will come, if your own house is in order.”
(“Alcoholics Anonymous“, pages 89, 92, 98, 124, 164)

The following was first shown to one of us late in the summer of 1981, and it appears to be a “Bright Star” piece originating from Bright Star Press where “The first ‘Bright Stars’ were open letters of encouragement from the company’s founder (Walter S.) mixed with anecdotes and sayings to encourage each recovering person to live ‘One Day at a Time.'”

Why We Were Chosen

God in His wisdom selected this group of men and women to be purveyors of His goodness. In selecting them through whom to bring about this phenomenon, He went not to the proud, the mighty, the famous or the brilliant. He went instead to the humble, to the sick, to the unfortunate. He went right to the drunkard, the so-called weakling of the world. Well might He have said to us:

“Unto your weak and feeble hands I have entrusted a power beyond estimate. To you has been given that which has been denied the most learned of your fellows. Not to scientists or statesmen, not to wives or mothers, not even to my priests or ministers have I given this gift of healing other alcoholics which I entrust to you.

“It must be used unselfishly; it carries with it grave responsibility. No day can be too long; no demands upon your time can be too urgent; no case be too pitiful; no task too hard; no effort too great. It must be used with tolerance for I have restricted its application to no race, no creed, and no denomination. Personal criticism you must expect; lack of appreciation will be common; ridicule will be your lot; your motives will be misjudged. You must be prepared for adversity, for what men call adversity is the ladder you must use to ascend the rungs toward spiritual perfection, and remember, in the exercise of this power I shall not exact from you beyond your capabilities.

“You are not selected because of exceptional talents, and be careful always, if success attends your efforts, not to ascribe to personal superiority that to which you can lay claim only by virtue of my gift. If I had wanted learned men to accomplish this mission, the power would have been entrusted to the physician and scientist. If I had wanted eloquent men, there would have been many anxious for the assignment, for talk is the easiest used of all talents with which I have endowed mankind. If I had wanted scholarly men, the world is filled with better-qualified men than you who would be available. You were selected because you have been the outcasts of the world and your long experience as drunkards has made or should make you humbly alert to the cries of distress that come from the lonely hearts of alcoholics everywhere.

“Keep ever in mind the admission you made on the day of your profession in AA – namely that you are powerless and that it was only with your willingness to turn your life and will unto my keeping that relief came to you.”

— Helping others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth. —

5 thoughts on “The Reason You Were Chosen

  1. jc

    keeping a hand out even as i am crawling mindful i have willed myself to go to any lengths for you, must mean also for me.

  2. Christopher Mclemore

    I tried to read this poem in an aa meeting at the 24 hr club in dallas tx 4636 Ross ave. And I need to say that being a member of aa for about 32 yrs and have been to over 18,000 meeting the young newcomer with about a yr or so the reason aa has such a low success rate is because the new people try to improve aa and the old timers get to just watch wait patiently and when those younger alcoholics think they can fix what they disagree with. Are proven wrong by their own ignorance and must make amends to the people that. Which most don’t and then they relapse because they cannot admit their faults to others to be that example to others by their mistakes

  3. Sarah B.

    Hello, Christopher. Yes, “original A.A.” works, but the message is, sadly, being diminished as the years pass. That is why those who are called “big book thumpers” and “A.A. purists” who have taken A.A.s 12 steps and recovered work to preserve the integrity of the process. God as you understand God is often one of the sources of contention in meetings, and it need not be so. However, meetings are autonomous for good reason, and sometimes a good thing is not permitted.

  4. Betsy Hoida

    Yup. I get it. It sucks. My date of birth is 10:02:1981. Not sure if that helps any. Been sober almost 4 years

  5. Sarah B.

    Hi, Betsy! We have a solution for alcoholics who cannot control their drinking once we take alcohol into our bodies, and who cannot quit for good. The 12 Steps, when taken just as they are laid out in our A.A. text (“Alcoholics Anonymous”), make it possible for us to become people who no longer have to drink. Feel free to go to our home page and look up our meetings times. Join us!

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