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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Trust in Truth

“Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.”- Bernard Baruch - American financier and statesman. (1870-1965)


What was life like before the explosion of the internet as we know it today?  It seems hard to recall.  How did we even survive?  We had to wait days for answers to questions that entered our heads.  We had to figure things out for ourselves.


Before Larry Page and Sergey Brin's creation of Google* (1998), we had to rely on Melvil Dewey’s system (1876) for research assistance. Before Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim founded YouTube (2005), we looked to Colin Macfarquhar and Andrew Bell’s Encyclopedia Britannica (1768) for our how-to help.


Times have changed, and so has trust. Today, truth is sometimes hidden behind layers of lies. Credibility is a keyboard away, and opinion has trumped reality.  The names and dates listed above are only as true as our honesty.  Just because we say so doesn’t mean it is so.

The “review” set, introduced shortly after search engines in 1998, is heavily coated on top of available data. This development has changed the way we shop, study, and reckon.


Opinions and observations of others have become a baseline of assumed truth.


In what do we trust?

According to a survey by BrightLocal, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and endorsements influence our influence.  About 49% of online reviews are negative in nature, while 38% are favorable (the balance is neutral).


The short of it is that we tend, through our investigation, to put a lot of weight into what others say about a product or service. Back in the day, we would get on a bike and try it on ourselves. Today, we get other opinions of their bike riding experience, creating a personal understanding through others' negative and positive bents.  They tell us it does not ride well, so we avoid the bike. We read that the food was cold and the service sucked, and therefore, we avoid the restaurant. The review says the book was less than spellbinding, so we avoid the book.



We research Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and hear that it does not work, so we avoid the attempt.  They say it doesn’t transform a life, so we avoid trying. 


Is Alcoholics Anonymous trustworthy?

This brings us to the popular query: “Does AA work?”.


Honestly, we did not examine each of the 3,090,000,000 pages that Google returned on that particular query. However, we can assume that a vast number of people include negative commentary based on reality as that person sees it.


And we acknowledge that not everybody has had a great AA experience, nor has it “worked” for everybody who has “tried.”  Buried in the murk and mud, there is a cry that the organization does not work.  We have seen these declarations ourselves.  We have heard it inside and outside of the meeting rooms of AA and have been first-hand witnesses to the truth that the program did not transform.


Our suggestion to the seeker would be to query: “How can AA work for me,”  


Testimony to truth and trust

Our personal experience has proven that AA can work if it is worked proficiently.  Ours are stories of successes.  From day one of getting serious about doing the AA work required, we have, in fact, found transformation from drunk to dry to a sober way of life that has delivered us to a place of stability with touches of serenity and peace.


These are the facts from our experience.


We drove past the noise of “what might not” and parked on “what could be.” We observed achievement and mirrored our actions accordingly. We learned from others' misdirection and missteps and paid close attention to our own. 


We marched toward the job set out with passion and vigor, driven by a desperation to be different.  At a certain moment, we believed we could be a success story and became one. We can't say where that flip originated or how it happened, but the moment was possible because we were in the game.


Had we listened to the naysayers, had we bought into helplessness, the triumph we have today could have turned into tragedy instead. We led with “we can” and “we did.” There was no jump for us; it was simply putting one foot in front of the other and doing what was charted as THE course for recovery. We did the next right thing, and every day, we lived in the promise of a better life.

 

One can uncover negative perspectives on The Pope, Mother Teresa, almost every book, and even the world's best steakhouses.  It can be said that AA does not work.  We read it before we tried it and have concluded that the reviews did not apply.  We determined to try it ourselves, for ourselves.  We are grateful that our story has us embracing success.


We believe that sobriety is available for those who seek it, those willing to go all-in. We are living, breathing proof that there IS a solution for those who work for it.

 

“Promises are promises, and facts are facts.” - Steven Curtis Chapman, Songwriter.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: We have written on this before, but it bears repeating here: we are pro-sobriety, and though we have found solid recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous, we encourage everybody to seek what works for them. When we talk about sobriety, we are talking about a way of life that is void of the influence of drugs and alcohol.  There are MANY programs available, as well as professionals in substance abuse practices that can be of support. Our point is not to give up. If AA doesn't work for you, try something else. If something else doesn't work for you, try AA.  If neither of those works, try a professional. Just keep trying; it is worth it, and you are worth it. Lastly, you can always reach out to us via email for more conversation at podcast@sober.coffee

 

“Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance:" - Albert Einstein.

 

*Google's voguish predecessors included Excite (1994), Lycos (1994), Altavista (1995), and Yahoo (1995). Based on our research, the first search engine was called “Archie,” created by Alan Emtage (1990) right before the commercial roll-out of the World Wide Web. Archie was a search engine for FTP sites. (How is that for old school?)

 

 

 

Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast # 52 titled “Acceptance - The Fuel for Recovery and Living Sober”The session dropped 3/30/2022.    Click here to hear the podcast. 

 

Photo by Robs on Unsplash 


BLOG DISCLAIMER:

Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.

 

 

 

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