They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 134
In Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis describes an encounter between his principal character and an old man busily at work planting a tree. “What is it you are doing?” Zorba asks. The old man replies: “You can see very well what I’m doing, my son, I’m planting a tree.” “But why plant a tree,” Zorba asks, “if you won’t be able to see it bear fruit?” And the old man answers: “I, my son, live as though I were never going to die.” The response brings a faint smile to Zorba’s lips and, as he walks away, he exclaims with a note of irony: “How strange—I live as though I were going to die tomorrow!”
As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have found that the Third Legacy is a fertile soil in which to plant the tree of my sobriety. The fruits I harvest are wonderful: peace, security, understanding and twenty-four hours of eternal fulfillment; and with the soundness of mind to listen to the voice of my conscience when, in silence, it gently speaks to me, saying: You must let go in service. There are others who must plant and harvest.