Friday, August 21, 2009

Tradition Six.

"Our Family Groups ought never endorse, finance, or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim.
Although a seperate entity, we should always cooperate with Alcoholics Anonymous."

The wisdom of this Tradition is the recognition that, were we to begin endorsing, financing, or lending our name to any member's idea of a good cause, the problems that beset society as a whole - money, property and prestige - will worm their way into our groups and destroy them. The only way Al-Anon can remain unassailable, is to keep our focus direct, with nothing to distract us from "our primary spiritual aim."

I've sat in Al-Anon business meetings and felt uncomfortable, watching members engage in a power struggle over something as simple as whether or not to have a topic list. I shudder to imagine the arguments that would ensue, were we to trying to decide which cause to endorse. Makes my teeth stand on end just thinking about it.

Everyone has their own idea of where society could improve itself: where we should put our energies and our donations. I'm grateful that when I'm in an Al-Anon meeting, the only focus is recovery for each of us - none of those other issues which can prove so divisive are raised - it's a safe place for all of us, regardless of our politics or beliefs. I'm not asked to be for this, or against that. No-one is going to pressure me to their way of thinking, or ask for donations to good causes close to their hearts.

When I was living with active alcoholism, money was in short supply, and I often felt embarassed, when someone would come to the door for a charity, and I couldn't afford to donate. I'm glad that I didn't have to suffer that same embarassment inside the meetings.

I'm grateful for the second sentence in this Tradition - it reminds me to maintain my individuality, but to work in concert with the alcoholic - to cooperate. I needed that reminder when I was new to program, because I had so many old resentments toward the alcoholic. This Tradition taught me a new way to live - in harmony.

1 comment:

  1. It is so very easy to get off track - off focus. If we become diverted from our primary spiritual aim, we can perish.

    Thank you for your insight on this tradition.