Endigar 620 ~ The Perils of the Limelight

From the Daily Reflections of November 27;

In the beginning, the press could not understand our refusal of all personal publicity. They were genuinely baffled by our insistence upon anonymity. Then they got the point. Here was something rare in the world —a society which said it wished to publicize its principles and its work, but not its individual members. The press was delighted with this attitude. Ever since, these friends have reported A.A. with an enthusiasm— which the most ardent members would find hard to match.   (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 182)

It is essential for my personal survival and that of the Fellowship that I not use A.A. to put myself in the limelight. Anonymity is a way for me to work on my humility. Since pride is one of my most dangerous shortcomings, practicing humility is one of the best ways to overcome it. The Fellowship of A.A. gains worldwide recognition by its various methods of publicizing its principles and its work, not by its individual members advertising themselves. The attraction created by my changing attitudes and my altruism contributes much more to the welfare of A.A. than self-promotion.




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The protective nature of anonymity revealed itself as a lesson in the power of humility.  I do not fear the stigma of being discovered as an alcoholic the way those in the beginning might have.  I do fear how easy it is for me to revel in recognition in a most obscenely exaggerated manner.  My hindsight provides me with a humiliating view of me fighting to be right and recognized and affirmed at the cost of relationships I hold dear.  Now, I am better about catching myself.

I must say, though, that there is a balance between withdrawal and anonymity.  There is a difference between humility and self-loathing.   AA has been important in turning my soul-sucking humiliations into serenity laden humility.  I am grateful.


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