What individual or corporate goals work or don’t work among the Alcoholic Anonymous group? To find out the answers to these and many other questions an Alcoholic Anonymous group meeting was observed.
Bob Kirk was well ahead of time. He saw to the last minute arrangements in the Oyster Room where he had called for a meeting at 6 pm. The group of forty-six people was special. They were ex-alcoholics but in their words, “We are alcoholics who won’t drink today”.
I had met up with Bob about a week ago and had asked him to let me sit through an AA meeting he regularly conducts. I sensed his reluctance for AA meetings are very cloistered. He relented when he found out that my intrusion was purely for academic reasons and that no video was involved. I grabbed this moment of weakness and set the date, so here I am!
People started to come in. One striking thing was that they were all coming in twos and threes and it seemed that they needed each other. The other was that they did belong to the cross-section of the society. By six, thirty-eight chairs were taken. They sat with the look of triumph on their faces. The kind the achievers have. They interacted with one another in a very open and honest way, extremely upfront and without any reservation. Very refreshing I must say from the sham I am so used to.
This cohesiveness and closeness I found are brought about by candid verbalizing of the lives that are lived. Everyone was accountable to the other kind of relationship, a compadre influence that affects their behavior.
This was fascinating since there apparently was such a great diversity of the economic and social status of every individual. Yet a brotherhood of colors, where among the blacks and whites even a turbaned Punjabi from India was present.