The Timeliness of Tradition Ten
In the craziness of the fall out from COVID and politics, the timeliness of Tradition Ten smacked me upside the head!
Understanding the traditions upon which AA rests may not seem to be the best use of time. But, reading about how the old-timers discovered ways to keep the program working is time well spent; I felt like yelling — I wish the world would adopt this tradition — when we finished!
Good luck with that.
Almost seven decades ago, a co-founder of AA observed:
We live in imminent possibility of a fresh holocaust to determine how men shall be governed and how the products of nature and the soil shall be divided among them. (Tradition Ten, 12&12, page 176)
Sounds like the headlines on tonight’s news, huh? And can’t you just hear all the OPINIONS reverberating? (!)
Hot buttons topics were all around, too, back then, just like today. However the cofounders learned form former mistakes, like those the Washington Society made, and hoped AA could stay out of public controversy.
That’s where Tradition Ten comes from:
Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name out never to be drawn into public controversy.
The tradition reminds me that my opinions on stuff — however brilliant, cogent, or funny I think them — are best kept to myself, especially in the meetings before and after meetings.
This is why I still go to meetings — to learn what common sense looks like! Or, as a friend in AA said, “The first thoughts that come into my mind should not be the first words out of my mouth.”
Whew . . . a truth that becomes truer everyday! (Watch Your Words!)
The timeliness of Tradition Ten shows me strong opinions about outside issues are not wise for me to share.
Now, strong suggestions . . . well, some of those can be quite useful, and worth sharing — like postponing the drink, go to a meeting and pray! ( for the beginner)
In recovery, what I need to hear is how the program is working for you and how you are doing living one day at a time.
And that’s really all you need to hear from me — My opinion on anything outside a meeting . . . not so much.
How about you reader? What would you suggest AA’s remember based on the Tenth Tradition?
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful