“Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”
THE unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished quality our Society has. Our lives, the lives of all to come, depend squarely upon it. We stay whole, or A.A. dies. Without unity, the heart of A.A. would cease to beat; our world arteries would no longer carry the life-giving grace of God; His gift to us would be spent aimlessly. Back again in their caves, alcoholics would reproach us and say, “What a great thing A.A. might have been!” “Does this mean,” some will anxiously ask, “that in A.A. the individual doesn’t count for much? Is he to be dominated by his group and swallowed up in it?” We may certainly answer this question with a loud “No!” We believe there isn’t a fellowship on earth which lavishes more devoted care upon its individual members; surely there is none which more jealously guards the individual’s right to think, talk, and act as he wishes. No A.A. can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee A.A.’s unity contain not a single “Don’t.” They repeatedly say “We ought…” but never “You must!”
Alcoholics Anonymous World Service
From As Bill Sees It:
Look Beyond the Horizon
My workshop stands on a hill back of our home. Looking over the valley, I see the village community house where our local group meets. Beyond the circle of my horizon lies the whole world of A.A.
The unity of A.A. is the most cherished quality our Society has. Our lives, the lives of all to come, depend squarely upon it. Without unity, the heart of A.A. would cease to beat; our world arteries would no longer carry the life-giving grace of God.
AA World Services Inc.As Bill Sees It (print edition: page 125; Kindle Locations 1301-1307). A.A. World Services, Inc.
From As Bill Sees It
The Fellowship’s Future
“It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon God.”
Clearly, our first duty to A.A.’s future is to maintain in full strength what we now have. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this. Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?AA World Services Inc.As Bill Sees It(Print Edition: p. 207; Kindle Locations 1976-1985). A.A. World Services, Inc.
From Daily Reflections: (September 16)
WE STAND—OR FALL—TOGETHER
. . . no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 561
Just as the Twelve Steps of A.A. are written in a specific sequence for a reason, so it is with the Twelve Traditions. The First Step and the First Tradition attempt to instill in me enough humility to allow me a chance at survival. Together they are the basic foundation upon which the Steps and Traditions that follow are built. It is a process of ego deflation which allows me to grow as an individual through the Steps, and as a contributing member of a group through the Traditions. Full acceptance of the First Tradition allows me to set aside personal ambitions, fears
AA World Services Inc.Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members(Print Edition: p. 268; Kindle Locations 1882-1884). A.A. World Services, Inc.