12 Steps for
According to studies by Vanderbilt University and the
University of North Carolina, only 70% of the people living in
the South consider themselves Southerners. Sociologists
attribute this to an increase in immigration and urbanization
in the South.
What do these
newcomers think they are if not Southerners? If their
residence is planted on our red, sacred soil, they are now
Southerners whether they want to admit it or not. Since the
end of "The War," natives of the South have learned
to forgive and forget and to tolerate these newcomers pretty
Perhaps they have a negative image about being Southern. If
so, there’s only one thing for these transplants to do. They
must immediately join a 12 Step Program and attempt to turn
their lives around.
1. Admit that you have no control over being Southern if
you are abiding south of the Mason-Dixon line.
2. Believe that the numerous advantages of living in the South
and a glass of sweet tea can restore you to sanity.
3. Make a decision to turn your will and life over to country
music, pickup trucks, and football.
4. Make a searching and fearless inventory of the reasons you
moved from the North in the first place.
5. Admit to God, yourself, and a native Southerner the exact
disadvantages of having to scrape ice and shovel snow.
6. Be entirely ready to explain the difference between a Moon
Pie and a Cow Pie.
7. Humbly ask for your shortcomings and your Yankee twang to
8. Make a list of all the rednecks you have ever offended and
be willing to make amends to them.
9. Make direct amends to them whenever possible unless there
is a shotgun or mean dog nearby and to do so would injure them
10. Continue to take personal inventory and admit that your
ideas about pinto beans and cornbread were wrong.
11. Seek to improve your interactions with Southerners as you
understand them, praying for common sense and the power to use
a little bit of it.
12. Having had an intellectual awakening as the result of
these Steps, try to carry the truth about the South to others
and to practice Southern hospitality in all your affairs.
Remember that a transplanted Southerner is always in danger of
returning to self-destructive prejudice.
Continue to study the 12 Steps and say the Serenity Prayer for
Good Ol’ Boys’ at every opportunity.