From the December 1981 magazine.

Our Right to Be Responsible

Tradition 4 - Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole

EVEN FOR ME, with my vast (!) store of knowledge, "autonomous" was a big word. Once my brain started functioning somewhat, I remembered from my study of history that the ancient Greek states had practiced autonomy. What on earth did ancient history have to do with a bunch of drunks in the twentieth century?

One of my early conclusions was that people in Alcoholics Anonymous were show-offs, given to resounding expressions such as "ultimate authority" and "autonomous." They could not possibly understand any of those words, drunks that they were. Part of me knew that I was a drunk, too, but my education placed me a notch above everybody else.

-- W. H.

Manhattan, New York

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