Friday, December 14, 2007

Tradition Twelve

Tradition 12
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.

We've talked some about Tradition 12 in our various meetings this month. It seems to be important for a number of reasons. First, it's important because it not only protects me but it also protects the program. We've discussed how it's possible that the program would be hurt if individuals touted that they are in Al-Anon and yet failed to live their recovery in their daily life.

It's also about humility. No one need be treated special or as someone's HP because when that occurs it is a certainty that the human who is deified will demonstrate clearly that they are not the God of my understanding. This means that we are all equal at a meeting. No one person's hurt is greater than another and no one's wisdom is greater than another. Essentially, we leave "what we are" at the door and walk in as "who we are". How much education you have or how successful you are or how rich you are has no bearing on what you can get from or what you can contribute to the program. I like what the AA long form of Tradition 12 says:

"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."

I've seen egos on parade at a few meetings. And I've seen people hurt by personalities taking precedence over principles. What this tells me is that if we are busy giving advice and not listening or busy arguing with each other, who then is concentrating on recovery? If we are busy gossiping, judging, or setting ourselves up as someone's HP, who is missing our experience, strength and hope? Maybe a good thing to consider about Tradition 12 is that if I am humble, then I won't be too full of myself, will keep gratitude in mind and actually T.H.I.N.K.
T houghtful
H onest
I ntelligent
N ecessary
K ind


  1. That is so right on! One of the things I love about the program is that I meet people from all walks of life, & we mix, where we normally would not. That is so coo! We each have something to offer.

  2. good stuff.
    have a peaceful weekend.

  3. Excellent Syd.
    I hope you have a great weekend


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