The predominant "thing" that attracted me most when I first came to AA is: AA's share -- they do not tell. They share their experience of what it was like for them, and what THEY did -- to find a solution. Rather than, to tell me -- what I HAD to do.
This type of environment hooked me. All my life people had been telling me what I HAD to do.
After my first failed attempt at staying sober in AA, I was desperately trying to find someone that could and would TELL me what I HAD to do -- to stay sober.
And, I couldn't find them.
I needed structure. I needed discipline. I needed someone who's ideas worked better than the ideas that I had -- which weren't working.
The one person in AA that seemed to "tell" people what to do more than he shared with them -- I was afraid of him. I sure didn't want him telling me what to do! But, as I began to observe the success of those that he sponsored -- I'd try to sneak up behind him and hear what he was telling his sponsees to do -- and go do it myself -- without anyone knowing that I was doing it. And, my life started to get better.
After I moved away from my Home Group environment to a new state, where I needed a strong sponsor influence I couldn't find it. And, I ended up calling the guy who "told" people what to do -- and asked him to become my sponsor.
Most of my life was lived pretty much as a "Wild Child." Doing what I wanted to do, the way I wanted to do it, when I wanted to do it and if I didn't want to do it -- I didn't do it -- regardless of how much better my life would be if I did it. I think my nickname would have been "Freedom" if I had a nickname. I was like a wild horse that simply wanted to run free.
I left home running away from a strict authoritarian parent when I was 13. And, the only authority in my life were those that wore badges and guns.
Sober -- if I was going to stay sober -- I had to change. But, on my own -- I couldn't change. I needed an authority figure in my life. Someone that would say "do this" -- and by MY CHOICE -- I would consider it an order, rather than a suggestion.
I still have that sponsor. I'm still sober. And, my life has gotten incredibly better than anything that I could and did ever imagine for myself.
As far as "telling" others what to do -- I don't do that. If they want to know how I dealt w/ a particular situation -- if they ask, I'll tell them how I did it.
I've often wondered if: am I robbing another alkie, who's just like me, of obtaining what I got -- because I don't tell them what to do.
I've tried to sponsor others like my sponsor sponsors me -- but, their skin doesn't seem to be as thick as mine. So, I prefer not to sponsor. I don't mind makeing 12 Step calls. I like it. I enjoy taking others through the Steps. But, to be a long time sponsor for the long-haul, I usually suggest that they find someone else and if they have a problem that their sponsor can't handle for them -- to give me a call.
I think what I wrote about might be different than KB was referring to. Maybe. Maybe not. I think what he was referring to was what I call "the AA Police."