Tradition 7: Taking Responsibility

A Study of the A.A. Traditions

Chairs in a circle
A Study of Tradition 7. © Getty Images

There are so many benefits to this tradition for the alcoholic and for the group and for all Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole. When we first come into AA we were at a bottom -- nothing was working for us. Many did not have a job or a place to stay, but most could still find the money for the next drink.

We surrendered to the fact that we could no longer drink, because of the price it required of us, and that wasn't money.

So, slowly we put in a basket what little we had and began to acquire a life worth living. It made us responsible for the first time (for many of us) to become a part of taking care of ourselves.

Many times we look at AAers who have been around awhile who feel they have paid enough dues, and leave the burden of being financially responsible to newcomers who believe in the 7th tradition.

Our co-founders understood they protected this program from outside help, so we would not have to lean on others, otherwise we would not be able to show how an alcoholic who was socially irresponsible came to be responsible.

As in most of our other traditions this one also keeps outsiders out of our fellowship who will continue to want to take control, offer new and "improved," or unrealistic changes to a program. If that were to happen, we would rarely find someone who recieves this gift of sobriety.

-- Alethea

More about Tradition 7

Tradition 7: Self Supporting
By declining outside contributions, 12 step groups protect their basic structure and spiritual foundations.

Dignity
"We help maintain our own sobriety. We need only rely on ourselves and each other for the most precious gifts."

A Case History
"We didn't and don't take money from outsiders, no matter how kind or well intentioned."

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