From the August 1981 magazine.

The Spiritual Substance

A presentation to the 1981 General Service Conference

THE FIRST sentence of the chapter on the Twelfth Tradition in the "Twelve and Twelve" says, "The spiritual substance of anonymity is sacrifice." The placing of principles before my personality is the sacrifice I believe I am asked to make.

When I attended my first AA meeting, no one asked me where I lived, what I did for a living--they didn't even ask my last name. I had been told all of my young life to choose my friends carefully, and yet these people were showing concern for me, loving me without knowing anything about me except that I had a big drinking problem. They were friends. I didn't choose them carefully--they just were. I was anonymous and so were they. That spontaneous gift of love given freely is something I hope I never forget.

-- D. H.

Wilmington, Delaware

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