Why We Were Chosen

God in HIS wisdom has selected this group of men and women to be the purveyors of
His Goodness. In selecting them through whom to bring about this phenomenon, He
went not to the proud, the mighty, the famous or the brilliant. He went to the humble,
to the sick, to the unfortunate – He went to the drunkard, the so-called weakling of the

Well might he have said to us – into your weak and feeble hands I have entrusted a
power beyond estimate. To you has been given that which had been denied the most
learned of your fellows. Not to scientists or statesmen, not to wives or mothers, not
even to my priests or ministers have I given this gift of healing other alcoholics
which I entrust to you.

It must be used unselfishly. It carries with it grave responsibility. No day can be too
long, no demands upon your time can be too urgent, no case too pitiable, no task too
hard, no effort too great. It must be used with tolerance for I have restricted its appli-
cation to no race, no creed and no denomination. Personal criticism you must expect,
lack of appreciation will be common, ridicule will be your lot – your motives will be
misjudged. Success will not always attend your efforts in your work with other alco-
holics. You must be prepared for adversity, for what men call adversity is the ladder
you must use to ascend the rungs toward spiritual perfection. And remember, in the
exercise of this power I shall not exact of you beyond your capabilities.

You are not selected because of exceptional talents, and be careful always if success
attends your efforts, not to ascribe to personal superiority, that to which you can lay
claim only by virtue of MY gift.

If I had wanted learned men to accomplish this mission, the power would have been
entrusted to the physician and the scientist. If I had wanted eloquent men, there
would have been many anxious for the assignment, for talk is the easiest used of all
talents with which I have endowed mankind. If I had wanted scholarly men, the
world is filled with better qualified men than you who would have been available.
You were selected because you have been the outcasts of the world, and your long
experience as drunkards has made, or should make you humbly alert to the cries of
distress that come from the lonely hearts of alcoholics everywhere. Keep ever in
mind the admission you have made on the day of your entrance into AA, namely, that
you are powerless and that it was only with your willingness to turn your life and will
into My keeping, that relief came to you…

This is an often seen piece of AA literature is a small pamphlet called “Why We Were
Chosen”. The source of this pamphlet is a speech given by Judge John T. on the 4th
Anniversary of the Chicago Group in 1943.