When I attended my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a grandfatherly man acting as chairperson looked at me and said, “You’re the most important person here tonight.”
Well, that statement was just what I liked to hear, because I thrived on attention. I went home from the meeting that night and thought long and hard. Two nights later, at the next meeting, I went in feeling very sure that I was still the most important person there. As a matter of fact, for the first thirty days or so, I felt I was doing the rest of the group a favour just by coming to their meetings!
We have a fairly small group and don’t see newcomers daily. But eventually, when another sick alcoholic did make his way through the doors and the chairperson called HIM the most important person in attendance that night, I was confused and hurt.
Today, I understand what that expression means: Without new people, we would have no members at all. Everyone has to come for the first time. I’d had another wrong notion: Once the “youngest” (in sobriety) member, always the youngest.
But Father Time takes care of that small dilemma by allowing us to accumulate many single days in AA that adds up to months and years.
I’m no longer the most important person in the meetings. Instead, I’m just a very grateful AA member.
D.F. – “Grapevine”