Knowing how to live crime free is as hard as learning how to live criminally. It took an experienced gangster to teach the inexperienced gangster how to bang. We at Gangsters Anonymous know it will take an experienced recovering gangster to teach us how to live crime free. Although the newcomer is the most important person at any meeting, the recovering older gentleman plays a very important role in the meeting. He or she has the age some gangsters in recovery do not. It is this age coupled with knowledge of the 12 Steps of Gangsters Anonymous which will ultimately provide each meeting with the hope for the future it so desires.
Though we are sure to be helped by the sharing we hear at meetings, we need to find a sponsor to help us in our recovery. Beginning with the First Step, a sponsor can share with us his or her own experience. By applying it to our own lives we take advantage of one of the most beautiful and practical aspects of recovery; the therapeutic value of one gangster helping another. We hear in meetings "We can do this." Actively working with a recovering old timer sponsor will give us some first-hand experience with this. Through our developing relationship with our sponsor, we learn about the principle of trust. By following the suggestions of our sponsor instead of our own ideas, we learn the principles of open-mindedness and willingness. Our sponsor will help us work the steps of recovery.
By doing so, we are most likely to benefit from the full range of experience anther recovering gangster has to share. After all who can better understand what we are attempting than those who have done it for themselves? Recovering gangsters more experienced in recovery that we are will have already dealt with the matters we are just beginning to face. Such people can share with us their experience and the solutions they have found through working these steps. The bond we share with our sponsor will strengthen our connection with the program and increase our sense of belonging.