April 2010 Issue
A historic meeting of two men in Akron resulted in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. The organization’s tenets are embodied in The Twelve Steps
In 1935, New York stockbroker Bill Wilson met Akron physician Dr. Bob Smith. Grappling with the disease of alcoholism, the two would go on to develop the steps to sobriety that more than 2 million people follow today as members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Twelve Steps
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
For more information about Alcoholics Anonymous, or to find the chapter nearest you, call 212/870-3400 or visit aa.org.
Dr. Smith was a keynote speaker at the 1950 Alcoholics Anonymous convention, which was held in Cleveland. Click here to listen to his speech.