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Twelve Steps To Happiness

AROUND THE TABLES, I found myself part of a discussion on Step Seven, and I said, as I always do, that the only way to take a Step is to do it. As far as I am concerned, talking about Step Seven at a meeting is great, but it is absolutely meaningless unless I do it. And if I haven't done Step Four, it is impossible to do Step Seven any justice. (I didn't take each Step just once and stop there; I'm always taking all of them.) Don't debate the Steps; do them. There is much to be gained at a table as we exchange concepts, ideas, and the like, but sharing our actual experience must count far more than sharing abstract doctrines. One aspect of the AA experience is happiness, and it is delightful to share it. I have found unbounded joy in being able to share happiness, and the basis for my happiness is the practice of the Steps. It is sad to observe the great waste of time and energy by many AAs as they pursue this new discovery or that new book, looking endlessly for happiness, but avoiding the Steps. Their example, however, is not lost on me; it reaffirms my simple belief that doing the Steps is the easiest, softest way to happiness.

February 1977 Reprinted from the Grapevine

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