From the April 1992 magazine.

A Reciprocal Dynamic

What does Tradition Four mean to me? This Tradition reminds me of Tradition One. Tradition One deal's with the relationship between the value of personal recovery and AA unity. Since personal recovery depends on AA unity, then our common welfare must come first. Now Tradition Four comes along and deals with the relationship between the group and AA as a whole. Here again maximum liberty and respect is to be given to the group. But the group, and the individuals in it, are asked--for their own survival and sobriety--to adjust, temper, and discipline that freedom when it begins to affect other groups or AA as a whole. If each group runs amuck and does what it pleases, Alcoholics Anonymous will be destroyed and in short order the group and individual sobriety will be destroyed in turn.

We alcoholics are plagued by a thousand forms of fear. We are easily moved to overcompensate and to indulge in grandiosity and megalomania! Once we let our discipline go lax, our humility and sense of obedience diminish and our foolish pride and blind ego take over. Then we can be a negative influence in a group, do harm to the individuals in it--even contribute to the destruction of the group.

-- Anonymous

Los Angeles, California

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