RA offers hope, sanity, and recovery, especially to those who, despite their best efforts, have yet to find full recoveries, no matter what their problems or behaviors may be and their family and friends.
VI The Twelve Traditions
Introduction to the Twelve Traditions
Twelve essays in A.A.'s Twelve and Twelve discuss the Twelve Traditions.


The Twelve Traditions are a vital extension of the spiritual principles expressed in the Twelve Steps.

[We refer to the U.S. versions of A.A.'s Literature. Versions printed in other countries may have different page numbers.]

1. In A.A. Comes Of Age, on page 96, in the third paragraph, starting with the end of the third line, it says:

“Our Traditions are a guide to better ways of working and living, and they are also an antidote for our various maladies. The Twelve Traditions are to group survival and harmony what A.A.’s Twelve Steps are to each member’s sobriety and peace of mind.

“But the Twelve Traditions also point straight at many of our individual defects. By implication they ask each of us to lay aside pride and resentment. They ask for personal as well as group sacrifice. They ask us never to use the A.A. name in any quest for personal power or distinction or money. The Traditions guarantee the equality of all members and the independence of all groups. They show how we may best relate ourselves to each other and to the world outside. They indicate how we can best function in harmony as a great whole. For the sake of the welfare of our society, the Traditions ask that every individual and every group and every area in A.A. shall lay aside all desires, ambitions, and untoward actions that could bring serious division among us or lose for us the confidence of the world at large.

“The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous symbolize the sacrificial character of our life together and they are the greatest force for unity that we know.”

2. The Twelve Steps provide guidelines for the individual’s recovery. The Twelve Traditions explain how each individual relates to the group, and how each group relates to the other and to the fellowship as a whole.

3. Many people have a difficult time seeing the relevance of the Traditions to their lives. Our focus is to produce a knowledgeable individual familiar with the entire program. An individual who knows their rights and their responsibilities, who knows how the program functions, who knows why the meetings function the way they do, so that this individual can be supportive rather than disruptive, and so that he or she can utilize what is there to its fullest potential.

4. It is suggested that you pre-read all of the Twelve Traditions from the 12 & 12 before going through this section. If for some reason you have been unable to do that, we strongly suggest that you do so as soon as possible

5. Please remember that R.A. doesn't want to convince you of anything. R.A.'s experience has been that if you read this material, you will come to the same conclusions that we have. We want to endorse your conclusions, not convince you of ours.


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