Tradition 10: Keep it Simple

A Study of the A.A. Traditions

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Alcoholics Anonymous could do nothing but die if it was not for this tradition. If AA "officially" held opinions on various issues outside the program that could serve to alienate members who disagreed.

I have heard many misinformed folks refer to AA as a cult, if not for tradition 10 it could develope into just that, with policy set in New York and the rest of us expected to mentally follow. We would be like a political party.

I believe this tradition is important for individual AA members as well. Sometimes "opinions" or treatment center jargon get passed off as AA lore, things like "anyone who smokes cigarettes isn't really sober" or when we attempt to be untrained Medical Doctors dealing with other members health and medication issues.

I even read in the most recent Box 459 about a member whose sponsor told her she had to take a new sobriety date because she had surgery and had to have pain medication.

These sorts of opinions can get passed on to newcomers like important parts of the program when in fact they are outside issues. I feel that it is important for me to keep tradition 10 in mind when I share in meetings, the man or woman with the least knowledge of what this program is about is after all the most important person in the room.

-- Maryann

More about Tradition 10

Tradition 10: Outside Opinions
By not expressing opinions on outside issues, 12 step groups attempt to avoid controversy.

Sticking to the Book
"A.A. tries harder than any other fellowship I've seen to stay with the message exactly as it was written."

An Oxymoron?
"As the old saying goes, by not making a decision you are making a decision. The same goes for not having an opinion."

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