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Grapevine : April 2011
28 April 2011 Traditions, Bill had to con- dense complex ideas into as few words as would get the point across. When he wrote the Grapevine article in 1948 explain- ing the Twel h Tradition, he expressed these idea more fully, that what we are called upon to give up or sacrifice are our "personal interests," our natural desires for money, prestige and authority. us, the essence of the Twel h Tradition, for me, became: Sacrifice is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personal interests. Traditions Two through Eleven, between the bookends of the First and Twel h, are specific instances of the sacrifices we are asked to make to keep AA surviving. My ex- pression of these specific sacrifices is as follows (the wording is less important than the substance---and your words may be dif- ferent): In the Second Tradition, I sacrifice being the boss; in the ird Tradi- tion, I sacrifice choosing whoIwillsitwithinanAA meeting; in the Fourth, I sacrifice going to another group and telling them how to run it; in the Fi h, I sacrifice expanding AA's success to other fields or enterprises; in the Sixth Tradition, I sacrifice con- necting AA to any other or- ganization; in the Seventh Tradition I sacrifice anyone else financially supporting AA, besides myself and other AA members; in the Eighth Tradition, I sacrifice being paid for giving to others what I received for free; in the Ninth Tradition, it appears that I sacrifice organization but, read- ing deeper, what I really sacrifice is deriving any authority from any position ImayholdinAA;inthe Tenth Tradition, I sacrifice using AA to bolster any controversial issue; and in the Eleventh Tradition, I give up being known as an AA member at the public level and therefore sacrifice the inference or implication that I am a spokesperson for AA. Finally, what does all this mean to me? What is my response to these sacrifices? Since the Tradi- tions have no enforcement mechanism or authority, I can only give up my own personal interests for the good of the whole. Nor can I force you to make these sacrifices; you must also voluntarily give up your own interests. If enough of us understand and are willing to make these sacrifices for the good of the whole, then we can achieve the unity within our Fellowship that AA will continue to support what I construe to be the prayer Bill wrote in concluding his presentation of the Twel h Tradition in the Grapevine: "May Alcoholics Anony- mous serve God in happy unison for so long as he may need us." Chet P. Orlando, Fla. Since the Traditions have no enforcement mechanism or authority, I can only give up my own personal interests for the good of the whole.