AA is not an institutional clearing program. It does not promise that we will receive suspended sentences, probations, or paroles. AA does not promise conditional releases, stays of proceedings, or the early releases from prisons or hospitals.
AA is not a "dating game" nor is it a lonely hearts club or a place to find a temporary or permanent lover.
AA is not an employment agency or manpower training program. It does not promise that we’ll all find jobs, get rich, or even become financially solvent.
AA is not a charitable organization like the welfare system or the Salvation Army. It doesn’t promise that we’ll be loaned money or given cigarettes. AA is not a bank or a credit union, and is not set up to provide funds for anyone.
AA is not a church program or a religious organization (although many groups rent church spaces to hold their meetings.) AA does not force religion down anyone’s throat. It does encourage us to develop and nourish individual spiritual ways here and now, but it doesn’t demand that we believe anything. Saving souls and making converts is not the purpose of AA.
AA does not promise that we’ll never be hurt or feel pain. When AA talks about serenity, it is not talking about the absence of calamity but peace of heart, mind and spirit in the midst of calamity. AA is not saying that we’ll have no more problems; it’s saying that we’ll be given what we need to deal with, and go through, those problems. The absence of troubles is not the purpose of AA.
Reprinted by permission of: AA Grapevine, 1991 Grapevine Inc. January edition