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Definition of Tradition: guideline for relationships between groups, members, other groups, the global fellowship, and society at large.
Synonyms of Tradition: guideline, principle, practice, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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Tradition Five – Purpose: Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry it’s message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

The unique ability of each AA to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, eloquence, or on any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., September 1952/”Tradition Five” | More…

Better do one thing supremely well than many badly.  That is the central theme of Tradition Five. The life of millions of alcoholics is closely tied to my competence in “carrying the message to the still-suffering alcoholic.” –Daily Reflections | More..

“Shoemaker, stick to thy last!” … better do one thing supremely well than many badly.
That is the central theme of this Tradition. Around it our Society gathers in unity. The very life of our Fellowship requires the preservation of this principle. –12 & 12 p.149 | More..

Just as firmly bound by obligation are the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who have demonstrated that they can help problem drinkers as others seldom can. –12 & 12 p.150-151 | More…

It is the great paradox of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of sobriety unless we give it away. –12 & 12 p.151 | More…

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Highlighting the wisdom of A.A.’s single purpose, a member tells this story:  “Restless one day, I felt I’d better do some Twelfth Step work. Maybe I should take out some insurance against a slip. But first I’d have to find a drunk to work on. –12 & 12 p.151-152 | More…

I was soon sitting beside a big hulk of a man. Decidedly unfriendly, he stared at me out of eyes which were slits in his red and swollen face. I had to agree with the doctor—he certainly didn’t look good. But I told him my own story. –12 & 12 p.152 | More…

His next question: ‘What are you getting out of it?’ Of course, my answer was ‘My own sobriety and a mighty happy life.’ –12 & 12 p.152 | More…

“Then, hesitantly, I ventured to talk about the spiritual side of our program. What a freeze that drunk gave me! I’d no sooner got the word ‘spiritual’ out of my mouth than he pounced. –12 & 12 p.152 | More…

Thank heaven I came up with the right answer for that one. It was based foursquare on the single purpose of A.A. –12 & 12 p.152 | More…

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The 12 Traditions of AA are a set of guidelines for how the organization should function. They were developed by the early members in response to problems as they arose.

The 12 Traditions first appeared as a set of principles in 1946. It is unlikely that AA could have survived so many years without these guiding regulations. | More…

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