Who wishes to be rigorously honest and tolerant?
Who wants to confess his faults to another and make
restitution for harm done? Who cares anything about
a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer?
Who wants to sacrifice time and energy in trying to
carry A.A.'s message to the next sufferer? No, the
average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme,
doesn't care for this prospect - unless he has to
do these things in order to stay alive himself.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 24
I am an alcoholic. If I drink I will die. My, what
power, energy, and emotion this simple statement
generates in me! But it's really all I need to know
for today. Am I willing to stay alive today? Am I
willing to stay sober today? Am I willing to ask for
help and am I willing to be a help to another suffering
alcoholic today? Have I discovered the fatal nature of
my situation? What must I do, today, to stay sober?
. . . . A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker,
"You are an A.A. member if you say so . . . nobody can
keep you out."
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 139
For years, whenever I reflected on Tradition Three
("The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire
to stop drinking"), I thought it valuable only to
newcomers. It was their guarantee that no one could bar
them from A.A. Today I feel enduring gratitude for the
spiritual development the Tradition has brought me. I
don't seek out people obviously different from myself.
Tradition Three, concentrating on the one way I am
similar to others, brought me to know and help every
kind of alcoholic, just as they have helped me.
Charlotte, the atheist, showed me higher standards of
ethics and honor; Clay, of another race, taught me
patience; Winslow, who is gay, led me by example into
true compassion; Young Megan says that seeing me at
meetings, sober thirty years, keeps her coming back.
Tradition Three insured that we would get what we need - each other.