don’t have to be first in line for everything and I no longer try to impress others with my knowledge.
It’s also been good to recognize that fear has been the root of my selfishness. Growing up in the Great American Depression of the 1930s, I shared with others the fear that we would never have enough—that poverty would be my natural state. The cure for this, I thought, was to acquire money and possessions. I did not look upon God as the source of my supply, and always feared that something would happen to leave me destitute. It has taken considerable effort to release that fear.
As a selfish person, it’s been good for me to attend meetings with people from all groups and society. I once hated and feared people in the upper stratum of society, but AA has shown me how wrong I was and that some wealthy people can be more troubled than those of us in the rank and file. And though I’d spent some time on the street, I did have negative feelings towards panhandlers and people who slept in missions. It was good to discover that both the drunken millionaire and the wino on the street can be my brothers and sisters in recovery.
I can thank God for a program that can modify our selfishness. I thank God also for the example of Bill W., who fought a continuing battle with his own selfishness. One way he did it was with the following prayer, which appears on pages 101-102 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions:
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace—that were there is hatred, I may bring love—that where it is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness—that where there is