Thursday, January 29, 2009
The relatives of alcoholics, when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al-Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.
• Principle: Focus
• Traits: singleness of purpose, keep it simple
Al-Anon's non-affiliation with any other cause or organization keeps our purpose clear and helps us avoid controversies that could hurt our unity. Al-Anon and the recovery offered me is my primary focus. This does not mean I have the right to force my belief in Al-Anon on others. My recovery does not detract from my family’s unity. My preaching may.
To LEARN how to join Al-Anon or form a group, turn to Tradition Three, which tells us that any individual can join simply by deciding he or she is troubled by another person's drinking. A group can be formed whenever two or more persons get together to use the Al-Anon principles to help themselves. The only stipulation is that the group itself not affiliate with any other program, religion or cause. This stipulation is intentionally simple and inclusive. It insures that when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help in dealing with the effects of another's alcoholism, Al-Anon will be there. This tradition points out our singleness of purpose.
Most organizations have specific requirements for membership and some way to see that only those who qualify are admitted. Applications are created and obligations are spelled out. Al-Anon is different. If you think you are troubled by a drinker, you are welcome.
Al-Anon's non-affiliation with any other cause or organization keeps our purpose clear and helps us avoid controversies that could hurt our unity. Although there are many good, related endeavors, our experience indicates that we lose the vitality and effectiveness of our Al-Anon program when we stretch ourselves too thin by trying to be all things to all people.
Practicing this Tradition brings us personal growth and expanded recovery. For all who come through the doors and claim by their presence that they have a problem, we extend the hand of fellowship. We offer them unconditional love and acceptance. It is simple.
We do not use our group for other purposes or link our group to other causes, treatment programs or outside endeavors, however worthy they may be, because we want to be sure Al-Anon is always available to us and others in need of the help we have found so useful.