SHORT FORM: ‘EACH GROUP HAS BUT ONE PRIMARY PURPOSE—TO CARRY ITS MESSAGE TO THE ALCOHOLIC WHO STILL SUFFERS.’
LONG FORM: ‘EACH ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS GROUP OUGHT TO BE A SPIRITUAL ENTITY HAVING BUT ONE PRIMARY PURPOSE—THAT OF CARRYING ITS MESSAGE TO THE ALCOHOLIC WHO STILL SUFFERS.’
Make a list of areas of your life, e.g.
Ask, with each of these areas (where relevant):
• Is my primary purpose to stay sober and carry the message to alcoholics who still suffer?
• Do my actions show that I put spiritual growth first?
• Is my secondary purpose to carry the message in every corner of my life?
• What is the message I am carrying in AA? (Primary purpose)
• What is the message I am carrying outside AA? (Secondary purpose)
• What old primary purpose(s) must I surrender?
• In particular, have I surrendered the primary purpose of personal comfort?
• Do I carry the message as much through demonstration as through explanation—by anonymously practising the Steps, Traditions, and Concepts in all my affairs?
• Are my particular experiences and talents being fully exploited in carrying the message?
Tradition V ideas
‘Shoemaker, stick to thy last.’ (LOTH, 82:2)
‘In AA, the group has strict limitations, but the individual has scarcely any.’ (LOTH, 225:8)
‘Sobriety—freedom from alcohol—through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an AA group. Groups have repeatedly tried other activities, and they have always failed.’ (LOTH, 223:3)
‘Remembering to observe the Traditions of anonymity and non-endorsement, the AA member can carry AA’s message into every troubled area of this very troubled world.’
‘Remember that those with whom you associate closely will have your personal conduct under constant in-spection. The quickest way to spread the Truth is by living the life yourself. Then people will notice the change in you, and they will come round of their own accord, begging to share your secret.’ (Around the Year with Emmet Fox, July 13)
‘But little by little, I woke up to the possibility that God hadn’t put me on earth for the purpose of getting all the money, prestige, and romance that I could lay my hands on.’ (LOTH, 234:5)
‘I began to see that my modest job was a means of living, and of serving society.’ (LOTH, 235:2)