Joe and Charlie emphasize that everyone especially new people understand p17. We are a group of people with diverse backgrounds that are brought together because of a common peril. They describe that we are like passengers on an ocean liner that has hit an iceberg and is sinking. Our common peril was alcoholism. After rescue they have camaraderie, joyousness, and democracy. The joy of rescue does not subside among members of aa. The feeling of having shared in a common peril binds us in the fellowship. This is the power of the fellowship. However they warn the reader that the power in the fellowship is not enough.
What is the cement that binds us is? That they had discovered a common solution! They had a way out on which they could agree and which they could join in harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.
The common solution- the twelve steps. The power of the fellowship alone is not enough. Meetings are not enough . The fellowship was designed to bring people to the solution – the program of recovery , the twelve steps. To recover we must find a power to live! That is the result of the steps, a relationship with a power greater than ourselves that restores me to sanity and allows me to live in peace and serenity.