"High Praise for the Charm of Recovering Alcoholics"
by Fulton Oursler
There are times when I wish I were an alcoholic. I mean I wish I were a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. The reason is that I consider the AA people the most charming in the world.
Such is my considered opinion. As a journalist, it has been my privilege to meet many people who are considered charming. I number among my friends stars and lesser lights on stage and cinema; writers are my daily diet; I know ladies and gentlemen of both political parties; I have been entertained in the White House; I've broken bread with kings, ambassadors and ministers; and I say that I would prefer an evening with my AA friends to any person I've indicated.
I asked myself why I considered so charming these alcoholic caterpillars who have found their butterfly wings in AA. There are more reasons than one, but I can name a few. The AA people are what they are, and they are what they were, because they are sensitive, imaginative, possessed of a sense of humor, an awareness of the universal truth. They are sensitive, which means they are hurt easily, and that helped them become alcoholics. But when they found their restoration they are as sensitive as ever; responsive to the beauty and the truth and eager about the intangible glories of this life. That makes them charming companions.
They are possessed of a sense of universal truth that is often new in their heart. This fact that this at-one-moment with God's universe had never been awakened within them is the reason they drank. They have found a power greater than themselves, which they diligently serve. And that gives them a charm that never was elsewhere on the land and sea; it makes you know that God is charming, because the AA people reflect his mercy and forgiveness.
They are imaginative, and that helped make them alcoholics. Some of them drank to flog their imaginations onto greater efforts. Others guzzled only to block out unendurable visions that arose in their imaginations. But when they found their restorations, their imagination is responsive to new incantations and their talk abounds with color and might, and that makes them charming companions, too.
They are possessed a sense of humor. Even in their cups they have been known to be damnably funny. Often it was being forced to take seriously the little and mean things of life that made them seek their escape in the bottle. But when they found their restoration, their sense of humor finds a blessed freedom and they are able to laugh at themselves, the very height of self-conquest. Go to their meetings and listen to their laughter. At what are they laughing? At ghoulish memories over which weaker souls would cringe in useless remorse. And that makes them wonderful people to be with by candlelight.
Fulton Oursler was a magazine editor, religious author, and Hollywood screenwriter, and was an early Oxford Group member and friend to AA. He passed away in the year 1952.
His official relationship with AA is as follows:
Sept. 30, 1939, the very popular weekly Liberty Magazine, headed by Fulton Oursler, carried a piece titled "Alcoholics and God" by Morris Markey (who was influenced to write the article by Charles Towns). It generated about 800 inquiries from around the nation. Oursler (author of The Greatest Story Ever Told) became good friends with Bill W and later served as a Trustee and member of the Grapevine editorial board. In Oct. 1949, Dr. William D. Silkworth and Fulton Oursler joined the Alcoholic Foundation Board.
Last edited by ccs
on Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.