New York Stockbroker William G. Wilson (1895-1971) had been sober for six months when he had a professional setback and desperately needed to share his experience.
Bill W. connected with surgeon Robert Holbrook Smith, another alcoholic. Together on this day in 1935 they founded Alcoholics Anonymous in Akron, Ohio. A.A. became a fellowship of men and women with the purpose "to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."
Today over 2,000,000 participate in the program; 35% are women. Members are encouraged to get and stay in contact with their sponsor, attend meetings, work the 12 STEPS in the Big Book (first published by Bill W. and Dr. Bob in 1939), and commit to change the things they can.
"Commitment," explained Abraham Lincoln, "is what transforms a promise into reality."
Psychologist Carl Jung once wrote that alcoholism was the result of a void in a person's life where the spirit was intended to dwell. "Meaning makes a great many things endurable, perhaps everything," observed the famous psychologist.
Niebuhr's eloquent Serenity Prayer has given meaning to the struggle and has become deeply imbedded into the heart of the Alcoholics Anonymous philosophy. Today, hundreds of Internet Recovery sites, have helped spread the word internationally, giving hope to those facing difficult personal problems.
"The virtues of A.A. are not really earned virtues," observed Wilson. "It is a matter of do or die."
Change what you can. Accept what you cannot change.