From the October 1982 magazine.

Safeguards for Survival

AA's Twelve Traditions are a powerful protection for the future

TAKING THE Twelve Steps as a means of achieving sobriety was brought to my attention with loving emphasis very early in my association with AA. At the time, no one told me that taking the Twelve Traditions with equal devotion was as vital to AA itself as the Steps were to me. My new mentors, when I arrived in 1958, hadn't grasped the importance of the Traditions as fully as we have since then.

It took a while for most of us to perceive what powerful protection we have in them, and to learn how to apply them to the ordinary problems of our AA lives. New members, often bewildered and hurt when their suggestions meet an unenthusiastic reception, need an explanation from sponsors and groups of what the Traditions are and why we have them. They represent a distillation of AA experience, warning us not to keep repeating the same mistakes.

-- E. E.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!