From the August 1992 magazine.

Animated By Love

The great and blessed wonder is how well most AAs, most places, most of the time are guided by the Twelve Traditions. First of all, it's a wonder because the Traditions are seldom studied at any depth by most AA groups, and second, because the distinction between adherence to and divergence from the AA Traditions can be such a fine line. Anyone who has ever heard two "Traditions lawyers" discuss the "fine points" will know what I mean.

The Traditions didn't come into being simply because they seemed like a good idea, or because AA needed a set of rules to live by. They were born out of the experience of the early groups and members as antidotes to the problems that threatened their very existence or merely caused diversion by controversy. They really aren't "rules" but principles, which AA groups and members honor in order to insure AA's future. As Bill said, "The Twelve Traditions represent our common consent to conform, and the Traditions, in the final analysis, are animated by love and the need for survival."

-- C. L. B.

Leland, Mississippi

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