Lets Ask Bill W. Q&A no.25

Lets Ask Bill Wilson

What are the ideas embodied in the Twelve Traditions?

Answer
That, touching all matters affecting A.A. unity, our common welfare should come first; that A.A. has no human authority - only God as He may speak in our Group conscience; that our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern; that any alcoholic may become an A.A. member if he says so - we exclude no one; that every A.A. Group may manage its own affairs as it likes, provided surrounding groups are not harmed thereby; that we A.A.'s have but a single aim - the carrying of our message to the alcoholic who still suffers; that in consequence we can not finance, endorse or otherwise lend the name 'Alcoholics Anonymous' to any other enterprise, however worthy; that A.A., as such, ought to remain poor, lest problems of property, management and money divert us from our sole aim; that we ought to be self-supporting, gladly paying our small expenses ourselves; that A.A. should forever remain non-professional, ordinary 12th step work never to be paid for; that, as a Fellowship, we should never be organized but may nevertheless create responsible Service Boards or Committees to insure us better propagation and sponsorship and that these agencies may engage full-time workers for special tasks; that our public relations ought to proceed upon the principle of attraction rather than promotion, it being better to let our friends recommend us; that personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and pictures out to be strictly maintained as our best protection against the temptations of power or personal ambition; and finally, that anonymity before the general public is the spiritual key to all our traditions, ever reminding us 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. (Tape - Twelve Traditions, Cleveland, July, 1950) .

Another Answer
We sometimes congratulate ourselves on the Traditions as though they were a list of virtues singular to us. Actually, they are a codification of the lessons of our past experience during the early days of A.A.

These Traditions are not fixed absolutely. There may be room for improvement. However, they should not be lightly cast aside, since they bear on our unity, survival and growth under Gods grace."

We are entering a new era of growth with vast forces tearing at the world. The problems and difficulties of the future may be greater than those we have already survived. Still, there is a love among us that passeth all understanding and that will sustain us through all the trials that lie ahead, no matter how formidable." (Transcribed from tape, GSC, 1968)

 

24. Father Downling's Influence 26. GSO Financing


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