Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tradition Twelve.

"Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities."

I'm uncomfortable with people breaking this Tradition and publicly proclaiming their membership in 12-Step - we don't need spokespersons who may dissuade anyone from getting help. Those who do this, always seem to use "helping others" as a reason for doing it, but if you wish to be of service to others, there are many other acceptable ways to do so, and still be working inside the 12-Step framework. I wonder about those who may find the proclaimer abrasive or irritating - will this prohibit them from seeking help in 12-Step, now that they associate that individual with it?

I believe that anonymity is of paramount importance for the above reason, and for many others, such as protecting the sanctity of a meeting, so that those attending feel able to speak freely. Ultimately, this is beyond my control - I can only make sure that I preserve anonymity, I cannot force anyone else to do so. That's between them and their Higher Power, and not my business. I can attend to sweeping my own side of the street.

Many of us in 12-Step have powerful personalities, with sweeping likes and dislikes - this Tradition reminds us that we are gathered together for a common purpose, and we need to let those personalities be secondary to our principles.

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