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Doctor Bob's Last Message

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From a talk given by Dr. Bob in Detroit, Michigan in December 1948


The trouble with us alcoholics was this: We demanded that the world give us happiness and peace of mind in just the particular way we wanted to get it - by the alcohol route. And we weren't successful. But when we take time to find out some of the spiritual laws, and familiarize ourselves with them, and put them into practice, then we do get happiness and peace of mind. I feel extremely fortunate and thankful that our Heavenly Father has let me enjoy them. Anyone can get them who wishes to. There seem to be some rules that we have to follow, but happiness and peace of mind are always here, open and free to anyone. And that is the message we can give to our fellow alcoholics.

 

Delivered at the first International conference of Alcoholics Anonymous at Cleveland, Ohio in July 1950


   My good friends in AA and of AA. I feel that I would be very remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to welcome you here to Cleveland not only to this meeting but those that have already transpired. I hope very much that they have the presence of so many people and the words that you have heard will prove an inspiration to you - not only to you, but may you be able to impart that inspiration to the boys and girls back home who were not fortunate enough to be able to come. In other words, we hope that your visit here has been both enjoyable and profitable.

   I get a big thrill out of looking over a vast sea of faces like this with a feeling that possibly some small thing that I did a number of years ago, played a infinitely small part in making this meeting possible. I also get quite a thrill when I think that we all had the same problem. We all did the same things. We all get the same results in proportion to our zeal and enthusiasm and stick-to-itiveness. If you will pardon the injection of a personal note at this time, let me say that I have been in bed five of the last seven months and my strength hasn't returned as I would like, so my remarks of necessity will be very brief.

   But there are two or three things that flashed into my mind on which it would be fitting to lay a little emphasis; one is the simplicity of our Program. Let's not louse it all up with Freudian complexes and things that are interesting to the scientific mind, but have very little to do with our actual AA work. Our 12 Steps, when simmered down to the last, resolve themselves into the words love and service. We understand what love is and we understand what service is. So let's bear those two things in mind.

   Let us also remember to guard that erring member - the tongue, and if we must use it, let's use it with kindness and consideration and tolerance.

   And one more thing; none of us would be here today if somebody hadn't taken time to explain things to us, to give us a little pat on the back, to take us to a meeting or two, to have done numerous little kind and thoughtful acts in our behalf. So let us never get the degree of smug complacency so that we're not willing to extend or attempt to, that help that has been so beneficial to us, to our less fortunate brothers. Thank you very much.

 

Dr.Bob died in November 1950 four months after he delivered this message

"Perhaps the best thing for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations."

 

Looking For More 12 Step History? Just Click Below:

The Four Absolutes ] Dr Bob 1948 ] Bill W. Writes ] Matter Of Fear ] Dr Bob 1950 ] 6 Oxford Steps ] Death Announcement ] [ DrBobLastMessage ] History Links ]

This website is not intended to replace a sponsor, but rather to aide you and your sponsor in recovery.  This is just a way to start working the steps, and share in someone else's experience, strength and hope. 

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This Website was last updated on:  March 23, 2008

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    Disclaimer: This site is NOT endorsed nor sponsored by Alcoholics Anonymous or any group and is not intended to offer specific advice to persons in recovery or contemplating recovery. This site DOES, however, attempt to follow the 12 Traditions of AA. Contact your local Alcoholics Anonymous Intergroup Office for direct info on AA, for info on meetings in your area, and if you'd like to speak with someone regarding alcoholism. This site is produced in the spirit of AA's Twelfth Step - to carry the message. When reading the experience, strength and hope on this site, we remind you that AA's "public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films."