Endigar 547 ~ We Stand – or Fall – Together

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

. . . 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, page 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 and anger when they are in conflict with the common good, thus permitting me to work with others for our mutual survival. Without Tradition One I stand little chance of maintaining the unity required to work with others effectively, and I also stand to lose the remaining Traditions, the Fellowship, and my life.



Portrait of a boy with the map of the world painted on his face.

“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”  Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

We alcoholics have somethings in common with the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution.  King Alcohol was a powerful tyrant.

Tradition One:  “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”

The individual is the group.  The group is not the individual.  The hunger and desperation of the individual alcoholic drives us into an unlikely mix.  The alcoholic humiliation is transformed into empowering humility.  It is this common need for survival and the discovery that we are more powerful together than we ever imagined being alone that make us cherish the common good.  The group cannot provide the initial desperation or the individual instinct for self-preservation needed to be effective.  The group serves to amplify the power of its members.  Thus the need of the individual creates and sustains the group formation.  The group is always a dependent organism and requires our devotion though humility.  The group needs me to cherish it.  I have come to need the group to overcome my disease.  It is the paradox of selfish altruism that AA introduced me to and that I now embrace.

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