Our leaders have no special status in AA,

They are simply trusted servants. ~ Anon

Our trusted servants are not servile, not are they at our beck and call. I know from my many years of service, that the loudest critics never bother to offer their help or lift a hand toward service. I learned a long time ago to just ignore them. They have the right to their opinion, but criticism is not welcomed by me. This last year, I learned a new tactic from someone in a leadership role. Each time someone criticized, he would say, “I hear you are volunteering to fix the problem.” That seemed so much more effective and constructive. It certainly quelled the criticism quickly. When people say trusted servant, that means to use your discretion in doing your job and come back for any needed clarification, and if it costs money, ask for approval. Keep it simple.

Here is some more Tradition 12 things to consider: 

Why is it a good idea for me to place the common welfare of all AA members before individual welfare? What would happen to me if AA as a whole disappeared? Group consensus keeps u all on an equal plane, and strong meetings let everyone have a voice. We would all be still drunk without AA.

When I do not trust AA s current servants? Who do I wish had the authority to straighten them out? The only time I do not trust some people in service is when they do not do their job or don’t show up. I usually try to reason with them or ask them if they are having problems. I go to my sponsor for direction beyond that.

In my opinion of and remarks about other AA’s, am I implying membership requirements other than a desire to stay sober? I do not think I can cop to that. Beyond being sober; what others do or don’t do is none of my business.

Do I ever try to get a certain AA group to conform to my standards, not its own? This one I struggle with. These days, I attend healthy meetings. One meeting that I came back to a few years ago had been struggling. I did help it recover by connecting with intergroup, insisting on a monthly business meeting and a checking account. Some folks grumbled, but now they are grateful. It is never comfortable to protect our traditions, but it is always fruitful.

12 Tradition in Action

Live and let live. ~ Anon

I heard one person say: that following the traditions in her personal life, career, and at home made her recovery even more powerful than just practicing them within our fellowship. That really made me take a stronger look at how I was like the church goer who was all niceness and compassion during the church service; until they got out into the parking lot. Then the thin veil of what they just prayed on went out the window. We are reminded of how to act and react when we are in the meetings and around our fellow AA’s. So, it is easier to remember at those times to behave ourselves and act as if others matters. But a few hours later or in a different setting, our old style of anger, resentment and thoughtlessness reappear. I have been blessed with some strong women who call me out on my negatives and offer a way back to sane and healthy living. Here are a few group inventory questions that may help strengthen your own resolve and your group as a whole. Remember, it only takes one nasty rumor or fight to spoil a group’s morale.

Does our group always inform newcomers about the meaning and importance of anonymity? The phrase “remember, who you see here and what you hear here, stays here when you leave here” needs to be added to all AA meeting formats. It also helps to read a definition of anonymity at each meeting.

Are we careful to not throw around the names of other AA members, even within the fellowship? Quoting someone by name, disclosing where they work or their last names, and putting names on flyers are all ways in which we think we may be honoring someone, but indeed we are breaking their anonymity. We all have the right to our own stories and to be members among members. No one can afford to be idolized.

Do we ever repeat anything personal we have heard at meetings or from other members? When fellow AA’s are sick or going through loss, we need to ask prayers for them or ask others to call to support them. But, under no conditions are we to tell the details of their problems. That is their story and their right to tell it or not. These will be a god start. Take care. Be well and live well.

True Meaning of Anonymity

To be anonymous in AA means to be one among many, to accept ourselves as no better or worse than our fellows. This acceptance places us in a state of humility and makes us teachable.

~ 12 Step Literature

Anonymity in Tradition #12 means a whole lot more than just not gossiping. In most meetings you will hear: “who you see here, and what you hear here, stays here when you leave here. Here Here!” That is just a small part of it. In meetings, we are encouraged to refrain from saying things such as quoting another member by name or promoting one person above all others as the expert or the one with the longest term sobriety. This elevates one above others which is a breach of anonymity. No one is in charge in AA. We are all equal in sobriety. Even those of us who have been around AA many decades, just have today. The truth is, that whoever woke up earliest, has the most sobriety today. I got up a bit late today. I am still sober, but others have a 4 hour jump start on being sober for this day.

The thing about being on an equal par with all others, is that we can be afforded the opportunity to learn from people no matter how much education they may have or not have. I have learned the most out of people who come from the most humble beginnings. I must remain teachable, so that when the messages are delivered, I will be opened to receiving them. An old timer likes to say: “G.O.D. does not call those who are qualified to serve; G.O.D. qualifies those who are called to serve”. That make sense to me. None of us were born with innate knowledge on how to do anything. In fact, it took us at least one year to learn how to talk, walk, and feed ourselves. So, it is in AA. We need people to teach us to how to get and live sober one step and one day at a time. Remain teachable.