Whew, finally made it to Tradition 12. I've enjoyed doing this writing on the traditions of Al-Anon. It has helped me to clarify some of my thoughts. This tradition is one of my favorites.
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.
The principle here is respect. The tradition teaches me that I need to have humility and practice selflessness. Everyone in the fellowship is equal, responsible for themselves and entitled to respect. Selflessness helps me to be of maximum use to others.
There is no room in our primary purpose for ego, pride, arrogance, selfishness, or unwillingness. There is however a lot of room for gratitude, humility, willingness, love, forgiveness, understanding, joy, and freedom.
This tradition is 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. 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.
Meetings aren't the place to trot out our egos. 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 houghtfulEssentially, we leave "what we are" at the door and walk in as "who we are".