How To Think About The Traditions, 12

Read This First: How To Think… it’s important to understand that we as a greater society have lost the ability to think critically…

12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.

This is an extension of Tradition 11, in not needing to praise ourselves and letting friends recommend us. It is true humility. This is, once again, a recognition that, violating spiritual principles means that I will pay a spiritual price, and I don’t want to pay that price, because I could get drunk, and I never want to drink again. I place the Principles of AA before my feelings, and before any person in AA who thinks they are an authority over me. Although there is a period of time we go through in which we make other alcoholics our higher power/guru, that period should be short-lived and we should always know, and teach others, that God does not have grandkids – that we are all equal as alcoholics. Sure, there are a lot of drunks who are good talkers and who have a certain charismatic nature – but those people are here to serve their purpose and are no “better” than the others who’s job is to just do the work of helping newcomers through the 12 steps. We each have our specialty and no one’s specialty is more important than anyone else’s.

Practicing genuine humility means, keeping on track with nightly review, morning meditation, prayer throughout the day, daily 10th steps, looking for where religious people are right and making use of what they offer, one day at a time. Being the hand of AA when any alcoholic, anywhere reaches out for help. Keeping commitments even in a snow storm with subzero temperatures. Going on 12 step calls. Putting AA ahead of your comforts, because without AA you would not have comforts.

A genuine humility – that our great blessings may never spoil us – meaning that we keep on practicing these principles and seeking to grow spiritually – seeking the less comfortable path – one day at a time and never ceasing to do so.

Yes, we are blessed, especially once we begin to see the results of our labor, and yet never taking that for granted. Knowing that our freedom is dependent someone who came before us and the efforts of many. To quote Bernard Smith’s Talk... “

It is upon this paradoxical truth that the assurance of the survival of the fellowship rests. The perpetuation of A.A. is grounded in the so-called weakness of those human beings who escape the materialistic bases of society through the medium of alcohol.
It is because we know of the tremendous impact that A.A. can have on generations that will follow us that we have been so painstaking in building a structure of service of A.A. in the General Service Board, the General Service Conference, and the many service agencies-that perform the essential daily tasks of carrying the A.A. message through-out the world. It is with good reason that Bill has described this structure of service as a legacy, deserving of the same attention and understanding accorded the First Legacy of the Twelve Steps and the Second Legacy of Twelve Traditions.

But this Third Legacy of Service has a string to it. And the string is
that we are granted the use of this legacy for our lifetime upon the condition that we will not only look after it but increase its spiritual content for the generations that will follow us. Each succeeding generation, as it receives this legacy, must similarly protect it if they wish to employ it and gain life by it and pass it on to the next generation with an enriched spiritual content.

We have spent the last 80+ years depleting the spiritual content of AA by violating the Traditions.

Ours is not a personal success story. Rather it is a story of “colossal human failures” converted by the divine alchemy of the living grace of God. Humility.

12th Tradition Exercise: Spend a month being grateful to God for your gifts ie in the 7th step – we asked God to take the GOOD and the bad – did we? Or are we still taking credit for the “good” in ourselves and just asking Him to take the BAD?. Ask God what He would have you do with the GIFTS HE GAVE YOU to serve humanity. Practice a genuine humility. Don’t talk about your recovery on Social Media – in fact GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR ONE MONTH. See how that feels.