We have a friend who often quotes the book (big book?) that says that the people in AA are people who, under other circumstances, would not usually associate with each other. One of the absolute coolest aspects of AA is the way that people who have not much in common share with each other on such an intimate level. When I was new, I was female, 16, in high school, and I didn’t even have a driver’s license yet. I’m not any of those things anymore except for female. Then, I think the person with the demographic most different from mine was probably an old man. Now it’s probably a young man. But in AA I have known and appreciated such varied people, it’s truly amazing. It has let me know that on the “outside,” in the rest of the world, everybody has a story. I’ve heard so many of them.
I think there’s the comparison in the literature of people in AA to people who have survived a ship wreck. They boarded the ship as upper class passengers, or poor passengers, or officers of the crew or as the guy who cleans the toilets. After the ship hits the iceberg and most people around them die, the survivors belong to each other and care about each other in a totally new way. Really, though, the actual shipwreck survivors probably quickly move on in their lives. Maybe a few stay in touch. In AA, in order to keep surviving, we stay in touch with each other frequently.
I’m sure just this part of the experience has colored my view of people and the world for most of my adult life, and for that, once again, I’m grateful.