Tradition One

Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.

How about the use of the semicolon?  You don’t see that much anymore.  I know I don’t use them for fear of using them incorrectly.  I’m so grateful that Bill W was such a wonderful writer.

I read the long version of Tradition One yesterday in preparation for writing something about it here.  At my meeting last night, Tradition Three was the topic of conversation.  In thinking about both traditions, I am amazed at the organization, or lack of organization, in AA.

The text of Tradition One made me consider a time in the future after AA had hypothetically fallen apart.  In the course of human history, AA is very very very very young.  I’ve always marveled at my luck at being in the time, in this place, where it is available to me.  I know there are many roads to recovery, but I also know that hardly anyone travels any of them for very long.  A recovered alcoholic is a rare and precious thing.

Anyway the text said the alcoholics of the future might hear of our movement and of how it fell apart, and curse us in their caves for letting it happen.  I do love Bill’s writing!  It describes how AA groups were born back then, by one person seeking out other drunks and forming a group, which isn’t the case anymore for the places where I’ve lived and the program that I’ve worked.

The text marvels at how few “rules” there are in AA, and how minimal the structure is, and how bad ideas tend to die on the vine rather than needing to be cut off.  I am so grateful to the people who work and volunteer to keep the organization of AA going for me, and for the future.  I don’t know that I could have recovered back in the days of AA’s beginnings, and I truly doubt I could have recovered any other way except through AA.  I don’t think there were many female teenagers haunting meetings back then.

I would do a lot to protect AA.

And PS – the writing of the Tradition also made me look up Eddie Rickenbacker, and so my education expands.

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